Esther 5:1- 10:3 (KJV)
Joseph Murphy, Retired Pastor
The name of God is not mentioned in all of the ten chapters of the book of Esther, but there is no other book of the Bible where His providence is more revealed. Esther is the true account of a beautiful young Jewish queen who risked her life to save her people, but God is the One who directed the events.
In the last half of this book, we find that Esther finds the courage to do as Mordecai has encouraged her to do–to be honest before the king about who she is and how she can save her people from the wicked plan of Haman, the king’s right-hand man. The king could not sleep one night and so he read the book of records which revealed Mordecai (6:1). After this Esther held a banquet for the king and Haman at which she uncovered Haman’s plot to kill the Jews, and she petitioned the king to save her people (7:6). The king had favor on Esther. He immediately had Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai and gave Mordecai Haman’s ring, representing his replacement (7:10-8:1). Esther again went before the king with a petition to change what Haman had set in place and to make a new law for her people (8:5).
Esther and all the Jews in all the one hundred and seven providences were saved because of her bravery and obedience. I believe this book demonstrates God’s sovereignty and loving care for His people. He directs and has a purpose for where he places His own.
When Joan and I were married, we planned to travel to Andover, Maine for our honeymoon. At the last minute Joan said “let’s go to Stowe, VT instead.” I now know that this was God’s doing and His plan for us. It was there that the He revealed to us that we were to go into the ministry. It was then that we attended a Bible church in Moscow, VT and met the congregation that took a liking to us. Weeks before we graduated from Bible college in New York, we were called to candidate at that Vermont church. We went, and we were accepted. We were there for 35 years!
There are two lessons that I take away from the book of Esther and have applied to my life all these years. First, as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Esther’s acts of bravery were because of her faith in God and love for His people. She didn’t know what the outcome would be, and in her mind she probably thought it might not turn out good. However, she knew that God was directing her and that she needed to do what He was calling her to do. How often are we faced with situations in our lives that are exactly that?
The second lesson I take away from this book is Mordecai’s words to Esther that spoke right to the heart of the matter. When he said, “For who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (4:14), He was pointing out to her that this was no coincidence that she was in such a place of power and authority, and that this was her chance to speak up for her people and to save them.
What is God asking of you today? Trust that He is in control and has a plan for your life!