The beautiful young woman was surrounded by luxury from the hand woven tapestries on the walls to the exquisite scarlet and gold couch on which she sat. She idly ran her fingers over the colorful embroidery on the lavender gown that she wore. Her handmaiden worked silently nearby not wanting to interrupt Her Majesty’s thoughts. Orphaned at an early age, raised in humble surroundings, it had never occurred to her that one day she would be the queen of the mightiest nation in the world. Being queen had its joys….and its sorrows. It was a lonely life, a far cry from how she had been raised in the loving, caring home of her cousin, Mordecai. And now, she was faced with a life or death decision. Dear Mordecai had asked her to go to the king and plead for the lives of the Jews.
Everyone knew that IF you approached the king without being summoned, and IF he did not raise his scepter to you, it was an immediate sentence of death. The thought sent shivers up her spine. Still, she had always obeyed her cousin, and his words kept ringing in her ears, denying her peace, refusing her sleep: “Who knows, Queen Esther, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
The king’s chief assistant, the wicked Haman, had decreed that all Jews in the kingdom were to be slaughtered, annihilated on a specific day. Again the lovely lady shivered with the realization that she might be the only hope her entire race had. She summoned one of her eunuchs to make haste to tell Mordecai, “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Queen Esther gazed intently at the beautiful array of gowns. She chose the azure garment trimmed in soft fur. Azure, as beautiful as the sky, and the king’s favorite color. Her handmaidens made sure that everything about the queen’s appearance was perfect. She was ready for the long, lonely walk to the king’s hall. Would she return? Everyone in the palace loved the queen: beautiful, kind, thoughtful. Everyone knew she was going to see the king, unsummoned. They were afraid for her.
With a lump in her throat Queen Esther nodded to the doorman. Once the door was open the queen’s fate would be sealed, there would be no turning back. Slowly he opened the door that would allow the queen to be in full view of the king. The king, dozing on his throne, was jerked to alertness by the sound of the squeaking door. Before him stood the beautiful Queen Esther. How lovely she looked. How much he cared for her. He raised his scepter, extending it toward his queen. And you could almost hear the sigh of relief from those gathered in the room. “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request?” The queen invited the king and Haman to her rooms for dinner the next evening.
Haman could hardly contain himself. He was going to dine with the king AND queen the very next evening, he boasted to his wife and family. A few hours later he found himself at the lavish table with the king and queen enjoying sumptuous food and tantalizing conversation. When the king asked again what Queen Esther wished, again she asked for their company the following night. Haman couldn’t believe his ears, another evening - alone - with royalty. He looked forward to the meal with heightened anticipation.
Now Queen Esther was ready to make her request known. “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life - this is my petition. And spare my people - this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation.”
“Who is he? Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?” inquired the king.
The queen replied: “The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.” The king was in a rage, Haman was terrified. All his plotting to destroy Mordecai and the hated Jews was crashing around him. He had built a gallows hoping to hang Mordecai upon it and now….it waited for him.
“You may be sure that your sin will find you out.”
Esther 4:14b NIV
Esther 4:16b NIV
Esther 5:5 NIV
Esther 7:3-4 NIV
Esther 7:5 NIV
Numbers 32:23b NIV
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