Esther: A woman of courage (part one)

This morning in my quiet time, I was greatly inspired by reading the story of Ester.  In case you aren’t familiar with this story, here’s a brief recap (part 1)… Come back in a few days to read part 2!

There once was a king named Xerxes that had a disobedient wife, Queen Vashti.  With fear that all the women of the kingdom would model her disobedience to their husbands, King Xerxes with his advisors made a decree that ordered wives to be obedient.  After this, they also began to search for a new queen to rule in the place Queen Vashti.  Many beautiful, young women came forward, but it was a young jewess that caught the King’s attention.  Her name was Esther, and she was selected by the king to become the new Queen; however, the King did not know that she was a Jew.

Long story short, one of the King’s advisors was offended when a notable Jew, Mordecai, would not kneel down to him.  Therefore, the king’s advisor made a declaration in the king’s name that all the Jews were to be exterminated.  Queen Esther heard of this decree, and risking her own life, she approached the king without his invitation (punishable by death) and basically enticed him before pleading for the lives of all the Jewish people.  What happened to Queen Esther and the Jewish people?  I’ll leave that question unanswered, so that you can go read the story yourself 😉

The part of the story that struck me most though, is written in chapter 4, verses 12-17.  This is the scene when Mordecai tells Esther of the advisor’s plot to have all the Jews exterminated.  Mordecai begs Esther to try to convince King Xerxes to revoke the decree, but Esther is scared for life.  She went from being an orphan to becoming the queen, loved and adored by the king.  Finally, she was living in comfort, even in extravagance, and yet now she was faced with a daunting task: to risk her life by approaching King Xerxes and then to risk her life again by revealing the conspiracy of his favorite advisor, and THEN to risk her life for a third time by asking him to revoke the previous edict and save the Jews.

Esther is scared for her own life and unsure of her ability.  “You’ve got the wrong girl, Mordecai, I can’t fulfill this plan.  Someone else has to do it, not me,” I’m sure that Esther was saying these words, shaking her head and putting her hands up in reproach.  But Mordecai cuts to the heart of the matter with such a simple, yet profound statement.  “Esther,” he says…a dramatic pause hanging in the air… maybe you were made queen for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14 The Message).

Just like that, Esther knows that he is right, and it’s in that moment that Esther’s life changes course.  Turning to Mordecai, she says that she we go before the king even though it’s forbidden.  “And if I die,” she tells Mordecai, “I die” (Esther 4:16).

the end of part 1…

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