September 23, 2017. Esther 1-5.
Most of us are familiar with the story of courageous Queen Esther. A story that is dramatically compelling, with a queen, heroes and villains. And yet the very heart of it reveals God’s deliverance and power with deep spiritual truths.
Let’s start from the beginning as we allow her story to unfold.
The Persian King Ahasuerus in his third year of being king held a huge feast for all his officials, servants, nobles, princes and others. Then after this feast, the King held a more intimate banquet in the court palace garden with the men folk, while Queen Vashti (her name meaning beautiful) also made a feast for the women for 7 days. This was the custom for men & women to have separate feasts prepared.
On the seventh day while the king was still intoxicated, he ordered the Queen to present herself before himself and the officials he was entertaining. But she refused his request, and the king was enraged with embarrassment. The degree went out that day for Queen Vashti’s royal position to be given to another.
(Esther 2:7) And Mordechai had brought up Hadassah that is Esther, his uncles’ daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful.
Here is where the fostered by relative Mordecai, Esther enters. We know her by this Babylonian name...however Hadassah was actually her Hebrew name, meaning Myrtle which was a plant that metaphorically symbolized the Lord’s forgiveness and acceptance of His people.
She was presented before King Ahasuerus in a beauty contest, and of all the contestants she obtained his favor and was crowned the new Queen. (Esther 2:17)
Esther took the godly instruction of Mordecai to not reveal her family and her people right away to the king. Mordecai would learn of villain Haman’s degree to the provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews.
(Esther 4:13, 14) And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther was faced with difficult challenges. She had prepared and disciplined herself to be obedient to authorities in her life. This was her opportunity to be of influence by helping her people…the Jews!
These disciplines would define her as a PERSON OF INFLUENCE.
- Prepared physically and spiritually.
- A continual, careful listening ear.
- Pondered (to consider deeply and thoroughly) the call.
- Formulated a plan for the call.
- Accepting of God’s will.
- Confident of God’s providence.
- Having a heart of humility and obedience
- Being self-sacrificing and courageous
Won’t you look for opportunities to be like Esther and be a person of influence for others?
God really does have a compelling plan for your life to reflect His Influence!