Esther was the Queen of the Persian Empire circa 478 B.C. Her most significant accomplishment was her intercession with her husband, King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) concerning a plot by his Prime Minister Haman to destroy the population of Jewish people in the kingdom of Persia. Esther’s courage saved the Jews from genocide. Her story can found in the book of Esther. Please read or re-read it when you have the chance.
Esther was a foreigner. She was a Jew whose family had been “carried away captive” when the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem. The Babylonians had since been overthrown by the Persians and she was now living a displaced life. The Bible tells us that her parents died early and that she was raised by Mordecai, her Uncle’s son. Mordecai was a servant in the palace of the king. It is from this place of seeming obscurity that Esther would rise to be Queen of the Persian Empire.
How did she get there?
King Xerxes had a Queen named Vashti who refused to come to a party he was holding. The king had been drinking and partying with his guests for seven days and wanted to show his guests the beauty of his wife. He sent seven of his chamberlains to call her to the party and she refused. As a result of this refusal, Vashti was banished from the king’s presence and deposed as queen.
The king now needed a new queen and all of the young women of the kingdom were potential candidates. The most beautiful young women of the kingdom were gathered into the palace and a contest was held to determine who the next queen would be. To make the story short, Esther won the contest and was crowned queen.
That was quite a journey. She rose from being the orphaned daughter of Jewish captives being raised by her cousin, the royal servant, to being the Queen of the most powerful kingdom of her time. In our day, we would have definitely made a reality TV show out of her life.
Esther’s big test
As time passed the king promoted a new Prime Minister, Haman. To keep the story brief, Haman and Mordecai did not get along with one another. Haman was so enraged with Mordecai that he created a plan to exterminate all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire. Up to this point, no one in the king’s house was aware of Esther’s Jewish lineage. Mordecai asks Esther to intervene on behalf of her people and she is stunned at the events taking place. Let’s go to the scriptures:
When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”
Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” (Esther 4:12-16 MSG)
There are two statements in that passage of scripture that are truly amazing: “Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this” and “If I die, I die”.
I want to make three simple points from this passage of scripture. There are many, many more that can be made but these are the three that are on my heart.
- The problems of this world may not be directly affecting you but you can be part of the solution
- There are no insignificant people or stations in life
- Do the right thing, every time, because it is the right thing to do
Part of the Solution
Jesus is the solution and we are part of His body; therefore, we are part of the solution. I have written this many times but I will write it again; you cannot do everything, but you can do something. You are part of the solution. You are the voice for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are the hands and feet of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are part of the solution. You may be the Queen Esther for a group of people in this world. You may be the person who has enough courage to stand-up and make a difference.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT)
No Insignificant People
Esther and Mordecai were servants of powerful a monarch who ruled with an iron fist. Their families had been turned into captives and their homeland destroyed. God used them to preserve the lineage of the Messiah. Your education does not disqualify you from making a difference. Your income does not disqualify you from making a difference. Your gender does not disqualify you from making a difference. Your race does not disqualify you from making a difference. God can and will use every person who will allow Him to come into their lives. Esther was born into insignificance but promoted to a place of prominence so that she could affect significant change for the glory of God. Your life is no different. Listen to the words of our Lord:
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:12-14 NLT)
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. (John 15:16 NLT)
Do the Right Thing
Esther did what was right even when it meant great personal risk to herself. She did the right thing because it was the right thing to do. We love our neighbors as we love ourselves because it is the right thing to do. Love is not always convenient and it rarely comes without a price tag for the one loving. Queen Esther risked her life to save her people because it was right. Are we willing to risk our time, money and reputation for those for whom Christ died?
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:35-40 NLT)
Queen Esther was used by God to protect His people Israel and to preserve the lineage of the Messiah. She rose from obscurity and insignificance to a position of influence and prominence. It was in her position of influence that she risked everything to do the right thing. I pray that each of us will have the courage and faith of Queen Esther.
She made the determination to do the right thing and resigned herself to, “If I die, I die.” If we, as followers of Jesus Christ, were as determined to see men and women receive salvation as Queen Esther was determined to rescue her people from genocide I believe that many millions would come to know our Lord.
Will you be our Queen Esther?
But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. (1 Corinthians 15:10 MSG)