Esther is a book in the Bible between the Major and Minor Prophets after Nehemiah. Among all the famous women Sarah, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, and Huldah, Esther is particularly celebrated because she saved her people from threatened doom. At the time when there was a national crisis when an edict had already been issued to put to death all the Jews she ventured into the King’s presence, uninvited, interceded for her people and saved them from a bloody massacre of maybe about; two million people total.
Esther was a young woman but under God she saw her own opportunity, nerved herself for the hour, jeopardized her own life, appeared before the King and was successful. There is a distinct note of self-sacrifice and abandonment in her famous resolve; “if I perish, I perish”. She had nothing to lose to put herself to work for God.This type of patriotism is not found normally among queens, but it was noble on Esther’s part. God had previously used the prophets to run interference for him but for this one he needed a special somebody; a woman on the inside that would not take down to pressure. We are sure fear tried to attack her mind but through giving herself to the most important factors, fasting and prayer; she persevered.
How did God make happen what he needed? He knew of Vashti was disobedient and flip at the mouth and was presently the Queen. He also knew her time was short because she grew weary in her dull lifestyle. In King Ahasuerus third year he made a great feast unto all his princes and servants, the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces being before him.
When he showed them the riches of all his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days it came a time after that he made a feast also to the people of the kingdom, he and his men drank royal wine in abundance. They were allowed to do all at their pleasure. Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal house that belonged to the King. On the seventh day of the feast when the King’s heart was merry with wine he commanded the chamberlains to bring Vashti the queen before him with the crown royal to show off her beauty. She was deposed refusing to dance before the King and his anger burned within him so he punished her.
Embarrassed as he was before the dignitaries he consulted them about the law concerning this type of disobedience. They didn’t take it lightly for this was the first woman over all the women and theirs too would also have wrath and contempt becoming disobedient and disrespectful (Esther 1:13-22). The King was to not allow her to come before him anymore, give her royal estate to another that was better than Vashti and make published throughout all his empire that all the wives shall give to their husbands honor both to great and small.
Esther was pious along with her uncle Mordecai that raised her up as a father in that they had a firm belief in God. The book of Esther shows God’s protecting care over his chosen people. When asked in Esther 4:14 and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this God’s divine providence is implied as an unmistakably clear belief. We can see the work of God throughout the Book of Esther. There is a sacredness of opportunity being taught. Esther saw her opportunity and improved it. Her courage was sublime. Self-sacrifice as mentioned earlier was the principle which actuated her life. She truly performed some genuine social service as we call it today; she worked the ministry or helps.
She was the go between God would use at this time to save his nation of people. We don’t know if there was no prophet to go or if they were just afraid. But here is the scenario and how Esther became the Queen. King Ahasuerus is now sober remembering what Vashti had done and what has been proclaimed and he seeks a fair young virgin (Esther 2:1-4) to replace her. He was pleased in his doings to her in that she had displeased him; the head of her estate. At the same time in Shushan was Mordecai who had been carried away with Jeconiah King of Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon had carried away captive. He had brought up Esther his uncle’s daughter as his own for she now had neither father nor mother. She was fair and beautiful.
At the King’s decree all the maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace and Esther was brought in by Hegai the keeper of the women with the rest. Esther pleased the King and she immediately obtained kindness of him. He preferred her and didn’t know that she was a Jew. She had been told by Mordecai not to reveal the fact (Esther 2:21). How about that a Jew and a heathen King! Esther had to go through a purifying process for the King; how much more God requires of us today? Will we to obey? Esther as told by Hegai required nothing but what she appointed to her. She obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. Esther in the tenth month of the seventh year of his reign was taken into King Ahasuerus’ house royal (Esther 2:16).
The King loved Esther above all the women and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins so that he set the royal crown upon her head and made her Queen instead of Vashti. We too must do things God’s way, proper and pure if we want to obtain his favor over our lives. We must give respect and honor where it is due. Can God depend on us to follow through on what he has commanded of us? Look where this girl’s obedience to God and man brought her!
She was in between a mess but she endured. Mordecai sitting in the King’s gate one day heard of a plot against the King by two of his chamberlains. He then told it to Esther who was now the Queen. Esther then told it to King Ahasuerus and conveniently dropped Mordecai’s name by him; look at God at work. He therefore owed him a favor in return for the information; the two traitors were hanged on a tree. Now comes into play the plot against the Jews. King Ahasuerus promoted Haman and requested that all the King’s servants bowed before him.
Well Mordecai refused to bow and give him reverence and the servants asked him why? He had transgressed the King’s commandment but Mordecai was more concerned with transgressing God’s Commandment. We can never usurp authority over what God has said. Mordecai knew we are to reverence God and put no one before him. Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow and he was mad; allowed wrath to consume him. Haman thought to lay hands on Mordecai but he was told of the people of Mordecai; the Jews. He set out instead to kill all the Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus even the people of Mordecai. It was a set up for he knew not that his King was indeed espoused to a Jew. Here it was the twelfth month and Haman because the lot fell on him for a favor he obtained a murderous decree from the King (Esther 3:8-11).
King Ahasuerus gave the decree with pleasure even offering to pay money to the hands of those that takes care the business of carrying out the decree. He gave Haman his ring from his hand, the Jews enemy his Queen’s people enemy. The letter was penned and sent to every province and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language. The date was set (Esther 3:13) and God’s people would soon face the midnight of life; death.
Everything was stacked up against the Jews because of what they believed. Haman said in Esther 3:8 that they were a people that had laws diverse from all other people and neither did they keep the King’s laws. They were different, they believed in different things and they held fast to what they believed to be God. Because of their differences they were marked for death; but God! God had a plan to deliver his people!
As the King and Haman set down to drink the people of the Shushan was perplexed and mourned over the King’s decree. When Mordecai perceived all that was done he rent his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes, went out into the midst of the city and cried with a loud and bitter cry. Everywhere there were Jews it was great mourning, they fasted, wept and wailed and lay in sackcloth and ashes. Soon Esther got the news and sent for Mordecai. She sent clothes to him but he refused for she was sorely grieved. She sent someone to Mordecai to get the details of what was going on. When he received the report from Mordecai and brought it back to Esther with a copy of the decree and message from Mordecai that she should go in to the King she sent a message back to Mordecai.
She told him that there was a law that if you come into the King’s inner court and have not been called you could be put to death. He told her she was to go in unto the King and make supplication unto him and to make request before him for her people. What was she going to do in this storm? Mordecai reminded her that she was a Jew too and that she should not think that because she is Queen that she would live (Esther 4:13). He asked her how did she; not know if God didn’t have her there for such a time as this. She appointed a fast with specific instructions that they were too fast for her; don’t eat or drink three days night or day along with her and her maidens with her. After the fast she would go in unto the King which was not lawful but what did she have to lose; she would lose her life and the life of her people anyway if she didn’t go.
The King loved him some Esther! On the third day she put on her royal apparel and stood in the inner court of the King’s house as he sat on his royal throne. Talk about coming before the King! She obtained his favor when he looked upon her and held out the golden scepter for her to come forth and she touched the top of the scepter no doubt looking him directly in his eyes.
Glancing back into her eyes he said to her “what would thou Queen Esther and what is thy request”? He said it would be given thee to the half of his kingdom; the girl had some pull. She knew how to praise him and how to fix it up for the right things. She fixed a banquet for he and Haman and wanted them to come. He told them to tell Haman to make haste that he may do as Esther has said and they went to Esther’s banquet (Esther 5:5). Will the love the King have for Esther and the favor she found in him be enough to suffice to overturn what he had already decreed?
What is your petition my love (Esther 5:6)? Esther then answered and said “if I have found favor in the sight of the King, and if it please the King to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the King and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the King hath said” (Esther 5:8). The girl is fixing it up; she prepared for them another banquet! Haman was glad but when he went out the gate again and saw Mordecai and he bowed not he was mad all over again. Haman was full of indignation against him but he refrained himself. After getting home he called for his wife and friends and boasted glorifying himself of his riches, promotion, and the multitude of his children. He wasn’t worried about Mordecai although he hated him so much because he would soon be rid of him.
His wife and friends encouraged him to build a gallows to hang Mordecai and speak to the King about it and go in merrily to the banquet and this pleased Haman. Be sure not to dig a ditch that we ourselves may fall in! He built the gallows that he himself ended up being hung on. That same night while Haman planned and plotted God disturbed the King’s sleep thereby commanding that the book of records of the chronicles be read before him and it was found written that Mordecai had told of the two chamberlains plan to lay hands on the King. The King then asked what honor had been given him for this noble act. “What honor and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this” (Esther 6:3)? The King’s servants replied “there is nothing done for him”.
Talk about bad timing, here come Haman ready to hang the man the King just realized he owed his life to. Was Haman’s bubble about to be burst! Haman was ushered in after showing up on the King’s court to pour out his heart to the King concerning Mordecai and found him-self thinking more highly of himself as he should. He told the King thinking only of himself in answer to the King’s question about what ought to be done for the man that the King delights to honor.
Haman said with his greedy selfish self that the King should let the royal apparel be brought which the King used to wear and the horse that the King ride upon and the crown royal which is set upon his head and be delivered to the man assuming he was the man. Even let the most noble of princes deliver the apparel that they may array the man. Bring him he said on horseback through the streets of the city and proclaim before him “thus shall it be done to the man whom the King delighted to honor”. Then the King said to Haman, make haste and take the apparel and the horse as he had said and do even so to Mordecai his most hated enemy. Lord the Help!
We should be weary when God gives us enough room to hang our self. Haman put a bounty on the Jews. Mordecai had favor for a time to come. Haman wanted honor that wasn’t his to have and wasn’t willing to do unto others as he himself would want. He was disrespectful to the Jewish faith and Mordecai. He asked for Mordecai’s head not realizing Mordecai had saved the King’s life. God will promote us even in the midst of our haters! He had to array Mordecai, bring and ride him on the horse and parade him through the streets as he had said should be done and proclaim before him that he is the man delightfully honored by the King. He wasn’t boasting about what he was going to do now. After bringing Mordecai back to the King’s gate Haman went to his house mourning with his head covered; he was ashamed for Mordecai had been honored above him.
When he told his wife and friends of what happened they told him that if Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shall not prevail against him, but shall surely fall before him and while they were speaking the King’s chamberlains came and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared (Esther 6:14-15).
The King and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the Queen and the King again asked her of her petition. Queen Esther carefully answered and said if I have found favor in thy sight and if it pleases the King, let my life be given me at my petition and my people at my request. She told him that they are sure to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish; but if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the King’s damage. She then accuses Haman when asked who this man may be; for the King didn’t know that she was a Jew. Esther in Esther 7:6 said “the adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman”. Haman was then afraid for he didn’t know either that she was a Jew! He stood up to make request to Esther for his life for he could see the wrath in the King and that evil was determined against him.
When the King walked back in from his walk outside to vent he found Haman on the Queen’s bed where she was. The King said “will he force the Queen also before me in the house”? Haman was then taken before the King and was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai pacifying the King’s wrath.
Mordecai was advanced over the house of Haman by the Queen, given his ring the King had taken back from Haman and the Jews lives were spared. King Ahasuerus reversed the decree against the Jews. Mordecai was told to write the decree and sign the King’s name and seal it with the King’s ring and send it by posts.
This brought much joy to the Jews knowing that God had done it again. Once again those that sought the hurt of the Jews was turned to the contrary (Esther 9:1) the Jews had rule over them that hated them. God slayed the enemy that would come upon his chosen people so that no man could withstand them for the fear of them fell upon all people. All the rulers of the provinces, the lieutenants, and the deputies and officers of the King helped the Jews because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
Mordecai was great in the King’s house and his fame went out throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater and the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of sword and slaughter and destruction and did what they would unto those that hated them. Haman’s ten sons were then also hanged upon the gallows at the Queen’s request (Esther 9:13-14). When God gives us favor we automatically have favor with man. Mordecai advanced and was given power being next in line to the King Ahasuerus and great among the Jews and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people and speaking peace to all his seed.