Daughters in the Bible: Esther, a faithful cousin

Esther was a faithful cousin and adopted daughter to Mordecai.  Their relationship is important, because with his guidance, he helped her to save the Jewish people.

Esther was taken in by Mordecai

Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.  {Esther 2:7}

Esther, is also known as Hadassah.  We discover early on that she is very beautiful and both of her parents have died.  So her cousin, Mordecai, has taken her in and adopted her as his own daughter.

“It is Esther’s inner beauty that has been immortalized in scripture and in the history of her people.  For Esther was beautiful inside and out.”  {Women of the Bible study Bible}

Esther was taken to the king’s palace and he was instantly pleased with her

So, let’s take a peak at the backstory.  The king has exiled his wife, Vashti, for disobedience.  {Esther 1} He has called for the young women to be brought in and they go through a lengthy beauty regime before going before him.  Scripture tells us this process took about a year before they appeared before the king. {Esther 2:12}  Whoever pleased the king the most would become king.

Esther was chosen and taken to the palace and Mordecai followed her.  He warned her not to reveal her background or nationality.

Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.   {Esther 2:10}

Esther is taken to King Xerxes, she follows the advice of the guards, and the king loves her

Xerxes was pleased with Esther

more than any other.  Esther is made Queen.  Yet, she has not revealed anything about who she is.

 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.  {Esther 2:20}

Trouble is soon afoot, when Mordecai hears of a plan to assassinate the king.

But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. {Esther 2:22}

“Even as queen, Esther’s maids passed messages between Esther and Mordecai.  This enabled Esther to warn the king of a plot that Mordecai uncovered against the king’s life.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

Esther was crowned king

Mordecai is able to pass the information on and save the life of the king.

But, evil is still afoot.  King Xerxes has a right hand man, Haman, who hates the Jews and works out a plan to have them killed.

“When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly… When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why. “ {Esther 4:1, 4-5}

Esther wants to know what is wrong with Mordecai.  She sends her servants, who act as a messenger between them, to find out what has happened.  Mordecai also advises that she needs to go before the king.

Esther and Mordecai exchanged messages which shared the king’s life

“Esther was a model adult daughter.  While she was free to act as she chose, she carefully weighted Mordecai’s advice.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

 “When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,  he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”   {Esther 4:12-14}

Esther was scared

“Mordecai’s wisdom and his love for Esther could not be denied, but the stakes were extreme…Esther’s mind must have searched for an easier solution.  But Mordecai’s counsel pierced her heart.”  {Women of the Bible study Bible}

Mordecai was asking a lot of her.  There had to be another way or an easier solution.  Esther probably turned everything over in her mind for a while, seeking a solution before formulating the perfect plan.

“Mordecai reminded Esther that perhaps God had made her queen to meet the challenge that Haman posed to her people.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

God placed Esther in this position for “such a time as this”.  She was the only person that could go before the king, defeat the evil Haman and save her people.

Mordecai reminded Esther she was made for such a time as this

“God often uses the most unlikely characters to fulfill his purposes.”  {Women of the New Testament}

Esther had to be scared.  Going before the king without being summoned could result in death.  She was taking a huge step of faith, but she was not entering without preparation or a weapon.  Her secret weapon and preparation were prayer.

“Esther looked to Mordecai for advice, and so respected his opinion that she overcame her fear and took the initiative to approach the king.”  {Every Woman in the Bible}

Esther approached the king

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”   {Esther 4:15-16}

Esther had her plan and told Mordecai what she needed him and the Jews to do.  For the next three days, they were to fast and pray.

“Mordecai is a good example of a wise parent of an adult child.  He gave wise advice but let the child make up her own mind.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions. {Esther 4:17}

Mordecai went immediately to do as Esther had planned.

Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet

In summary, Esther appears before the king and request that he and Haman will join her for dinner.  But in the meantime, the king cannot sleep and is reminded of how Mordecai saved his life.  He has him honored, but when he ask for suggestions, Haman thinks it is for him.  Haman hates Mordecai and set up the gallows to hang him on.

For three nights, Esther invited the king and Haman to join her.  This could not have been easy on her.  One can imagine that seeing Haman revolted her, yet she showed him kindness.  She was probably eager to reveal what she needed, but she waited and heeded her time.

Esther waited and trusted in God’s timing

“Esther showed wisdom and patience in a terrible situation while dealing with a difficult husband.  She operated within God’s will in the situation and used every gift He had given her.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

When Esther finally speaks, she reveals the truth of her heritage and the decree to destroy her people.  Haman must have blanched as she revealed the truth.  In the end, he only made things worse for himself and ended up being impaled.  {Esther 5-7}

Haman would have rolled over in his grave by what happened next.  Mordecai was given his estate and position.

Mordecai was promoted to Haman’s position after his death

That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.  The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.   {Esther 8:1-2}

Esther is an example that we all have a purpose in life.  Some purposes requires considerable courage, strength and prayer, as did Esther’s.

When we seek God’s will and guidance, He reveals His purpose to us, at least for the current chapter of our lives.  As Mordecai said to Esther, “you never know when you were chosen for such a time as this.”

We never know what God’s will is and what He ask of us, but we are to be prepared and ready.  This can only be done through salvation, prayer, Bible study and fellowship with the Christ.

Are you prepared for such a time as this in your life?

 

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