I have had some time over the last few months to just sit and think. While watching one of my favorite shows, regarding jury trials. In this episode it does not look good for the defendant, they are up against a larger, wealthier, and more powerful accuser. The hour is coming to an end when all the sudden one of the lawyer’s spots something on a video that changes everything. The jury deliberates and comes back with an innocent verdict, all is right in the world. Fairness and justice have prevailed.
Esther 2: 5-7 The Message Bible
Now there was a Jew who lived in the palace complex in Susa. His name was Mordecai. His ancestors had been taken from Jerusalem with the exiles and carried off with King Jehoiachin of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon into exile. Mordecai had reared his cousin Hadassah, otherwise known as Esther, since she had no father or mother. The girl had a good figure and a beautiful face. After her parents died, Mordecai had adopted her.
Mordecai and Esther, torn from their homeland and family, made a life for themselves in Susa. Strangers among the people, making the best of their situation, they become a family to survive. The King and Queen of this new land threw a large over-the-top party that lasted six months, as he invited leaders from around his kingdom to show off his wealth and power. The final week of the party, their king commanded his queen to appear before him and his visitors. Now he commands his Queen to parade around in her finest, showing off his greatest jewel in his kingdom. She refused to be retrieved and then shown off, causing the King some embarrassment in front of the visiting leaders. The King sent her away.
Esther 2: 8-10 The Message Bible
When the king’s order had been publicly posted, many young girls were brought to the palace complex of Susa and given over to Hegai who was overseer of the women. Esther was among them. Hegai liked Esther and took a special interest in her. Right off he started her beauty treatments, ordered special food, assigned her seven personal maids from the palace, and put her and her maids in the best rooms in the harem. Esther did not say anything about her family and racial background because Mordecai ask her not to for fear of her safety.
The King needs a new Queen. It might be hard to read some of this story within the framework of our culture today. But this is the life that these two fugitives were living in a land that was not theirs. She continued to hide her race and family background during the selection process.
Esther 2: 16-17 The Message Bible
Esther, just as she was, won the admiration of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal palace in the tenth month, in the seventh year of the king’s reign. The king fell in love with Esther far more than with any of his other women or any of the other virgins – he was totally smitten by her. He placed a royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.
Esther had lost her mom and dad and was raised by a second cousin, and now finds herself the Queen of Susa. Meanwhile, her adopted Father has been causing “good trouble” at the gate of the castle every day. Queen Esther, so proud of Mordecai, but cannot share their relationship or she loses everything.
Esther 3: 8-9a The Message Bible
Haman then spoke with King Xerxes: “There is an odd set of people scattered through the provinces of your kingdom who don’t fit in. Their customs and ways are different from those of everybody else. Worse, they disregard the king’s laws. They’re an affront; the king shouldn’t put up with them. If it please the king, let orders be given that they be destroyed.
Haman is one of the King’s top advisers and he is racist toward the Jewish people who have settled in their kingdom. Haman, wishing to kill all the Jews, even places his own money in the treasury to pay for the added military expense. The King allows Haman to move forward with his plan against the Jewish people. The plan is in place and the Queen is told of the news, what should she do, tell the King that she will also be destroyed if Haman can proceed or does she stay quiet as her people are destroyed?
Esther 4: 13-16 The Message Bible
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.”
Our scripted story has just taken a terrible turn. Esther is being told by the very man she respects the most, the man that raised her when she had lost her parents. When she first heard the plan to wipe out her fellow Jews, she was scared. Now, Mordecai is asking her to use her influence to persuade the King. You did not go to the King without an invite, even the Queen did not have full clearance to approach uninvited. She asked for everyone involved to go to God and pray, seek His face. Then she says the most incredible thing, “If I die, I die.”
Esther 7: 2-6 The Message Bible
At this second dinner, while they were drinking wine the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what would you like? Half of my kingdom! Just ask and it’s yours.” Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives. “We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed – sold to be massacred, eliminated.
The Queen finds the courage to tell the King what Haman had planned, the King turns the tables on Haman and the Jews were rescued. My favorite line in this story is, “For such a time as this.” You are here for a reason and regardless of your stage in life, God can rescue you. It will not be the life you have scripted but it will be a life scripted to place you in such a time as this.