Esther has finished the fast she called. Now the time has come for Esther to act upon her time of fasting and prayer. Queen Esther dons in her royal robes – dressing to make a statement. She IS the queen after all. And as she walks to the throne room the big question hovers in the air. Death is near. . .
Will God provide a way of escape?
Many Christians and Jews today are wondering that same question. Not only are believers still persecuted in many countries and daily face possible death, but there have been more martyrs for the faith in this century than any. Further, because of sin, all peoples face certain death with no potential to fulfill their destiny before God.
Should we not take our time of preparation for our remaining days as seriously as Esther did?
Esther’s moves may have been calculated, or carefully led moment by moment. Scholars speculate, but no one knows for sure why she did some of the things she did during the next few days.
Our last lesson from Esther’s actions is to do what she apparently did – do something but do it while listening for God’s direction – leaving plenty of room for God to work.
Now the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace. When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter, which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter. Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it will be given to you.”
Though the King had not seen or called for Esther in the past 30 days, with this appearance she ‘found favor in his sight” and he extended the golden scepter, saving her life. Was it her beauty, or her reminder that he had chosen this beautiful woman, that Xerxes thought she longed for the sight of him? He knew that Esther knew the law and she would not have taken such a step lightly. His acknowledgement that she was troubled by something and realization that she had come to him for resolution probably encouraged his ego.
Picturing the court at that moment had to have many heads of state gasping at the audacity of the Queen standing in the doorway, putting her life on the line. Would this be another Vashti-incident – how would the King react to the second queen challenging his laws? There must have been a great exhale when the scepter raised up and out toward Esther. But now, can’t you see them all leaning forward to see what she would dare to ask?
I tend to believe Esther was as surprised as we are to hear some of the words coming from her mouth.
Clever or careful, Queen Esther does not reveal her request yet, but invites the King (and his second in command Haman) to a private dinner. How disappointing for the servers and attendees not to know the rest of the story. Banquet fare in those days consisted of four courses – the last being the wine, and it was now the wine course.
The king and his VP are reclining and “filled with wine,” and the king curiously repeats this question asking Esther what she wants. Mysteriously Esther, the captive Jewish queen, invites the King and his Jew-hating second-in-command to another dinner the following day.
7. Assimilating to the enemy is never an option
Although Esther had somehow entered the palace without outward Jewish identification, God and His promises still lived within her heart. Mordecai “the Jew” was hated by Haman for his identity, and it had to be only a matter of time until Haman figured out Esther was also Jewish.
Esther’s situation was delicate, for though Haman had constructed the evil law, the king had signed it. Esther’s goal was threefold: expose Haman, without accusing the king, while publicly revealing truth about herself that she had not shared with the King. All three could humiliate the King – an offense leading to death.
But… although Esther was IN the King’s world, she was not OF it. She had retained her God-given identity as His chosen.
What a tough place to be. Fully realizing her punishment could still be death.
I loved her inspirational response – once Esther saw the right thing she moved decisively.
Whatever your dilemma today, Esther’s God is your answer. Focus on Him as Esther did,
let him show you the right thing and give you the same light to act –