Women of the Bible: Esther

What do you think of when you hear the name Esther? Do you think of the incredible story of an unlikely girl becoming a queen? Do you think of a brave woman who saved her people from the wicked Haman? I think of those things too, but I often wonder what it must have been like for her to watch life go in a direction that she probably never imagined.

She was an orphan...

She didn’t have a father or mother, so her cousin Mordecai raised her as his own. She could have easily complained or have been ungrateful towards Mordecai, yet all throughout the book she remains in contact with him and cares about what is going on with her people outside the palace.

She didn’t have much say in becoming becoming queen...

The king declared that the fair young virgins of the land would be gathered and he would choose a new queen from them. Now maybe you’re thinking, “But, Julie! She was waited on hand and foot!”

And while that is true, imagine the sorrow in her heart as she said goodbye to her loved ones and friends. Imagine the uncertainties of wether or not she really wanted to deal with the responsibilities of living in the royal household, as she looked back on Mordecai and her little home one last time. But not once does she complain...

Both Mordecai and Esther could have gotten revenge...

In chapter 2 verses 21-23, Mordecai finds out that the two chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, were plotting to kill the king. Mordecai who heard about this plot could have very easily pretended that he never heard it, but instead he tells Esther. Esther could have ignored it as well, but instead she urgently tells the king on Mordecai’s behalf.

She remains humble and compassionate...

In chapter 4, Esther is already the king’s favorite. She is living a comfortable life surrounded by almost anything he heart could desire, and yet when she hear’s that Mordecai is mourning in sackcloth and ashes, it breaks her heart. She immediately has a servant take him clothing, and asks that he let them know what is grieving him.

As he sends a message back telling of the death sentence decreed against the Jews, he pleads with Esther to think about her people and not about herself. As dangerous as it would be to go before the king with a plea for her people without being summoned, she listens.

She is patient...

This is a life or death situation for all of the Jews, but rather than making any hasty decisions, she asks that all of the Jews fast with her and her maidens for three days and three nights before spontaneously approaching the king and asking that he and Haman attend her banquet.

I think her patience is also evident when rather than telling the king about Haman’s plot against her people at the first dinner, she waits until the second dinner. She prayed, fasted, and waited for God’s perfect timing.

Her godly character changed the lives of others...

We all know that Haman was hanged, but the king goes as far as to allow Mordecai to write a new decree protecting the Jews and even to sign it in the king’s name. King Ahasuerus then promotes him to second in command of all of his kingdom.

The Jews are given the holiday of Purim to celebrate their deliverance, and in chapter 8 verse 17, it even tells us that many people converted to becoming Jews.

So what will you do when life hands you unexpected? When life doesn’t go as planned? Will you choose self pity, or will you rise above and make a difference. The God of Esther is still using brave men and women today. Will you be one of them?

 Julie is the founder of Tokyo Blossom Boutique and lives in the Atlanta area with her fellow creative husband, Scott, and their sweet, fun loving son, Sean. She is passionate about helping women focus on Joy + Jesus no matter what their circumstances may be.


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