The Book of Esther
I have been following along with Courtney at Women Living Well as she reads through the Book of Esther. As I read about Esther, I see so many character qualities that I admire in her!
First, I would like to briefly discuss what happens in chapter one: “7 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.”
I think there is a wonderful lesson here! All of us are ‘queens’ in our households, families and communities! Our presence, our demeanor, our reactions to situations set the tone for the way our children, husbands, and other family and friends feel they should act around us. People are drawn to you if we have a strong presence in Jesus Christ. Some of them may not even know why, may not be believers, but they still feel at ease around you and maybe even feel like they need to hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct when they are with you.
It says in chapter 18 that King Xerxes and his men feared ALL of the women who were there with Queen Vashiti when she showed disrespect would start treating their own husbands that way. Have you ever been chatting with a group of women when one of them starts to complain about the husband, then another, then another, until everyone has had their turn to spill some negativity?
Lord, please let me always be mindful that not only am I setting an example for my children, but I also set the tone for all of those around me. Help me to shine your light and show joy and grace in every situation.In Jesus’ name ~Amen!
Now, back to the qualities of Esther, the qualities we SHOULD try to have.
Esther was Obedient: She was obedient to Mordecai, the uncle who raised her when he asked her family background a secret. She kept that secret for over a year and only told it when Mordecai asked her to. THEN, obeying him once again, she told the secret even though she knew it could cost her her life.
Esther was Humble: Boy, was she humble! When she was in the King’s palace receiving spa treatments for a year, she won the favor of Hegai almost immediately. He put her in a special place with special servants. All of the women could take whatever they wanted with them when they went to stay with the king at their appointed time. Chapter 2 tells us that Esther remained humble: “15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.” See how it says that she won the favor of everyone who saw her? Not everyone that got to know her, just all that saw her act of grace and humility. ONE reaction that seems so small at the time can mold everyone’s opinion of you at that very instant.
Esther was Brave: When Mordecai first asked Esther to ask King Xerexes to spare the Jews, her reaction was fear. She said, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law:that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” Then, when Mordecai reminded her that she, too, was a Jew and would not be spared. He also told here that she should realize that she may have been put in her position for this very reason. So she went to the king even though it could have meant that she would be killed.
Esther was prayerful: Esther didn’t just go straight to the king. she asked that all of her people pray and fast for her for 3 days, and she did the same. She knew that she couldn’t do something this big without God.
Esther was patient: Not only did she fast and pray for 3 days knowing her people were in danger, when she did finally go to the king, she didn’t ask him or throw a fit or have a break down over the situation. She took days to ask him!
Esther was gracious: Even after the first banquet when King Xerxes ask Esther what it is she wants from him and tells her she can have anything and everything, she still just asks him to come to one more banquet before she asks her question. Then when she does ask, this is how she says it, “3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]”
I don’t know about you, but if I had been Esther, I would have blown it! I would have ran to the king’s court as soon as I heard what was going to happen, crying and wailing and begging for the people to be spared….I probably would have been killed, so its a good thing it was her and not me!!
Lord, please let me be more like Esther in showing the character qualities above. Let me be more obedient, humble, brave, prayerful, patient and gracious so that when others look at me, they not only ‘find favor’ they also see your light shining through! In Jesus’ Name ~Amen!
Join me as I read through the Bible with Courtney over at Women Living Well!