Scripture Memorization for January – Proverbs 4
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17
Read “Professional Backslappers” by Pastor Paul Chappell
A STUDY OF WOMEN IN THE BIBLE
Esther, A Woman Who Risked Her Life For Others.
“And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.” Esther 2:4-10)
Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman, who was raised by her cousin. Being taught under the law of God, it’s hard to image the task her cousin Mordecai asked her to do. You see King Ahasuerus was displeased with his Queen and put her aside to seek out another. Mordecai told Esther to stand with many other women in the land in hopes that the King would chose her in place of Queen Vashti. Because Mordecai treated Esther as a daughter, she obeyed him.
In our mind we think, how could a young beautiful young woman of God, stand before a heathen married man, hoping to be picked to be his next wife? But God had a plan unknown to her. and He was guiding her life.
“Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all of them that looked upon her. So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.” (Esther 2:15-17)
King Ahasuerus knew nothing about Esther being a Jewish woman, because Mordecai told Esther to be silent in this matter. Later Mordecai refused to bow down to the King’s highest nobleman, Haman. Haman then plotted to rid himself of Mordecai and the Jewish people. Mordecai told Esther of this plan and instructed her to go to the King.
“And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” (Esther 3:13)
She was now publicly identifying herself with her people. She realized she was powerless without God. Esther called her people to prayer and fasting. The law was that no one could approach the King unless they were asked and she had not been called for some time. But in spite of the law she said, “If I die, I die”. The young Esther was willing to risk her position, her life, and her future for her people.
The heroine, who had saved the Jews by risking her own life, is remembered and highly respected by the Jewish nation even today. She paved the way, unknown to her, for the coming of Christ.
God’s name is not mentioned in the book of Esther, but His hand on her life is apparent. And so it will be with us: When we face trials, we can also trust He is working out something positive on our behalf.
Though becoming a King’s concubine may not have seemed good, God watched over Esther. Even our most traumatic moments are also in God’s hands. When we trust Him, nothing can go terribly wrong.
Obedient Esther acted on God’s will, gave in to her cousin’s wise counsel, and was safe. Likewise, God protects us, especially when our faithfulness puts us in danger. Will you trust Him no matter what? Esther did.
1 John 5:13
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