Who is Esther and What Does it Mean to be an Esther in Today's World?
God is always working behind the scene, even if we don't see it, and His purpose prevailed through Esther during dangerous times of the Persian period. God's hand is behind everything as we take a deeper look in the story of Esther.
God doesn't consider the things the world values, instead He chooses and calls the nobodies in this world to be used for the good and His glory. He looks deeper into the heart of the matter. He is the Master of creating something beautiful from the tragedies of life. What was meant for evil, God turns it around to save the lives of many.
The name Esther means hidden or conceal. God saw her and choose her to be Queen of Persia for the purpose of delivering the Jews from a plot to kill and destroy them. She was a beautiful young Jewish woman born with the name Hadassah. She was an orphaned child after her mother and father died during the exile of Babylon. Mordecai was her father's uncle and he raised her as his own.
The Book of Esther begins with the Persian King Ahasuerus who held a lavish 180-day banquet. Right afterwards a feast lasting for 7 days in the court of the garden of the king's Palace with a bountiful of alcoholic drinks. Little did they know this would be the start of the turning events for God's greater purpose of setting the Jews free from being slaughtered, but it came with great risks and terrifying times. At the king's command, Queen Vashi, who was also giving a feast for the woman of the palace, refused to be on display for the lust of drunkards at the king's party feast of nobles. The king was furious and he made a decree for Queen Vashti to be vanished from ever entering the king's presence and give her royal position to someone else. The king's advisor's told him to let beautiful young virgins be sought after and groomed with cosmetics to replace Queen Vashti, which pleased the king. After 12 months of beauty treatments, the king loved Esther more than all the woman and placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Although, she keeps her Jewish identity hidden from Mordecai's command.
It's important to know that Mordecai saved the king's life in overhearing a plot to kill him, which he told to Queen Esther and she told the king. After investigation they were hanged on the gallows, which was recorded in the book of Chronicles. Even though Mordecai wasn't rewarded, later on it starts the downfall of an evil man named Haman. King Ahasuerus had promoted Haman to be prime minister. He was furious because Mordecai wouldn't bow down to him at the king's gate because Mordecai was a Jew. Hamon hated the Jews and he masterminded an evil plot for the extermination of Jews. He used deceitful methods to trick the king into making a decree for all Jews to be killed. Remember Esther had kept her identity hidden. This is when Mordecai gives Esther a great challenge to plead before the king and tells her, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for a time such as this?" Esther 4:14 ESV
Esther had others join her in prayer and fasting for 3 days. Despite what seems to be obvious fear of risking her life, Esther never forgot her relation to her people and rises to the challenge to be God's instrument to save them. No one, not even the queen, was to approach the king uninvited because the law called for death, unless the king was pleased and extended the golden scepter, which in her case it happened to go in her favor. She risks her life with breaking the king's royal protocol. Esther invites the king and Hamon to come to a banquet she prepared to discuss the matter. Afterwards, during the night, the king has trouble sleeping and ask for his advisor to read the Chronicles recorded of the king and comes to the part when Mordecai saved his life. The second invitation for another banquet with the king and Hamon is when a major turn of events occur where Mordecai receives the reward Hamon planned for himself and is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. The enemy of wicked Hamon was defeated, the Jews were spared, and Mordecai was made prime minister. Esther's brave act with the wise counsel of Mordecai changed lives forever.
Mourning was turned into gladness by celebrating the saving of many lives. Purim is a day to celebrate in remembrance of many generations to come. This proves that God is always working through circumstances even if He seems hidden for the good of His people. We're all uniquely called for a greater purpose, which God has orchestrated from everything in our past. God is always working in our lives long before we know it, just like He did with Esther. But we have the responsibility to be obedient to our calling out of love and gratitude to Him. When any opportunity comes up to serve God and others, we must take great care and not let it slip away. This calls for great commitment to fulfill God's purpose. If I perish doing my call of duty from God then I perish. Better to die in our calling for the cause of Christ than to shrink back in fear. Are we willing to risk our lives for the saving of other lives? Have we done all that the lord has commanded us to do? Who in your life is hurting, dying, lost, or held in captivity? What story will you leave with more generations to come? Your voice matters and it makes a difference. My prayer is that we will be brave and have the courage to do the hard things and walk boldly in the purpose of God's calling. Esther's story helps us today through all the darkness, confusion, and evil to know God was there working behind the scenes and is still the same God always working, despite the darkness in the world, for His greater purpose. I'm on a mission under Christ's authority so that others may be saved and know Jesus.
There is still time to join the Arise Esther Conference February 24th-26th. The celebration of Purim falls on February 26th this year. You will find many topics covered from ministry and spiritual growth to writing, speaking, culture and more. We are not shying away from hard topics. God has called me to speak on the sexuality panel as His living witness to help others struggling in the area of LGBT with reflecting God's love. I hope you can join us if God is calling you for a time such as this you can register here and see the schedule here