A lot of you requested for me to write something on Esther. At first I thought it was going to be easy, I reread her chapter and there is just so much in there….how do I give you the heart of the story…Well, here we go….
Esther was an amazingly and uniquely beautiful orphaned Jewish girl. She was adopted by her cousin Mordecai. She never lost sight of the One True God even though she was surrounded by unbelievers. She clung to her faith as she grew and her beauty grew even more.
During this same time there was a King named Ahasuerus (No, I can’t pronounce that without it sounding like I am sneezing) was having a royal banquet and demanded that his wife, Vashti, come and be ogled by the guests. She refused for an unknown reason and King Ahasuerus (bless you) was ticked enough that he denounced her from being Queen and set off a search for the new Queen.
The search was on for the most beautiful girl and as Mordecai heard of this, he knew Esther would be noticed, but he warned her to never speak of her true heritage. King Ahasuerus (bless you again) had a thing against Jews, no matter how pretty they may be.
As expected, Esther was chosen among some other women and they were given handmaidens along with a year-long beauty treatment. (Gotta be honest…I would love to do nothing but receive the perfumes, make-ups and clothing for a year, although I could probably do without the exercise regimen) Every so often, the young women were paraded in front of the King and they were allowed to ask for items to take back to their area. The girls were fairly greedy in requests, but whenever it was Esther’s turn she only requested what Hegai (the king’s trusted adviser) suggested and nothing else. She won favor from the king for her wisdom and great beauty and quickly became his favorite. So much so, that Esther was named Queen. No parting gifts for the other contestants.
Also during this time, Mordecai hung around the castle gates, which angered many, but Esther would sneak around and talk to him. He warned her that he had heard of a plot to kill the king and when Esther heard this, she warned her husband and actions were taken to spare him. But this business of Mordecai sitting at the gates was still ticking off people, especially a guy who had been promoted very high named Haman. He himself went to the King and ordered the execution of Mordecai and all his ethnic people. King actually went for it.
A lot more happened around this time, but let’s get back to Esther. When she heard of the execution of the Jews, she requested the presence with the King and with Haman. She told the King of Haman’s plot and that “those” people were her people. She risked execution on the spot, but the King favored her and sent out a retraction that saved the Jews. As for Haman, he was promoted to gallows that were 75 foot high for angering the King and distressing Esther. The Jews were saved, because of her bravery and King Ahasuerus was totally OK to be married to this brilliant and beautiful Jewish woman.
So what can we take away from Esther. First, it is nice to have a pretty face. Secondly, she used her beauty creatively with her wisdom to create one heck of a brave woman.
Not all of us have a pretty face or the offer of being a Queen and a year-long beauty regimen, but we all have the gift within us to have her courage. To stand before those who are against us and not be afraid, not back down and champion for what is good and true. We possess the ability to hear of something horrible and say “I will not stand for this and I will do my part to stop it within my power.”
She risked death for a cause she believed in. Most of us will never face this situation, but we can have the unwavering faith that says “This is a cause I would die for” and I will take those few moments of reckless courage to take a stand.
What do I want you to remember most about this remarkable woman?
Esther was a remarkable heroine that used everything God gave her to ultimately deliver her people from destruction. God has given us all several gifts and there is a purpose for each of those gifts. When we discover them, we are to use them to honor God. When we use all of them, we are fierce women on a mission that can bring change to the situations around us.
*-note from author: Please find time to read the full book of Esther. I have condensed it here as much as I can, but the full story is amazing. I was just trying to do a character profile and application so I had to leave a lot out.