The story is beginning to unfold.
The story of a Jewish girl from long ago.
A story that remains loved over the space of time.
A story that still inspires women today to be courageous.
Esther’s beautiful story had a sorrowful beginning, her parents were dead. She was raised by her Uncle Mordecai who dearly loved her and taught her the importance of obedience. The lessons of obedience that Mordecai obviously taught Esther as a child are key to the future that lay ahead of her.
Let’s go back a bit though and look at the history of this amazing story.
Setting the Stage
King Ahaseurus throws a big party and desires that his wife Queen Vashti attend. When she heard his request she refused to be in attendance. While we do not know the exact reason for her refusal, her lack of respect for her husband is disheartening. As wives unless our husbands are going directly against God’s word, we’re called to be submissive and fall under his authority.
Respect is Not Shown
Men are in need of respect, just as women are in need of love and affection. It’s the way God designed us and we can’t change it. For some reason King Ahaseurus desired Queen Vashti to be present at the party and she refused to come. It does not seem that Queen Vashti understood the importance of respecting her husband and she fails to show her husband the respect that he deserved.
An Action Requires a Harsh Consequence
The men close to King Ahaseurus warn him of the chance that women throughout the kingdom might take Queen Vashti’s actions to heart and act upon them themselves. The possibility of women refusing to show their husband’s respect throughout the land was not something that King Ahaseurus could allow. His choice to remove Vashti as queen was a harsh consequence possibly, but we can look around the world today and see what happens when millions (if not more) women fail to show their husbands the respect that they should.
A Long Time Without a Queen
From the time Vashti was removed as the queen until the time Esther met King Ahaseurus was a span of 4 years! While we aren’t given a time period of when all of the young maidens began to be brought unto the king, it was 4 years before Esther met him. Is this a sign of a man burned by a woman or just too busy running his kingdom to worry about love? Honestly we don’t know why there is such a large span of time, but the amount of time without a queen caught my attention this week for the first time.
Queenly Spa Treatments
Can you imagine having a year long series of spa treatments? Sign me up if you’ve seen them somewhere ok? I would love to have a year to dedicate to this queenly beautification process! The anticipation and year long thoughts probably stressed some of the women out, but Esther was filled with wisdom. She chose to listen and heed the directions given to her by the king’s chamberlain. Her wisdom was apparent to those around her and she became favored by all who saw her.
A Queen Loved and Favored
Esther listened to the wisdom of Hegai and we see that she received the love and favor of King Ahaseurus. Everything a woman truly wants Esther receives. It’s every girl’s dream to be loved and favored. Looking at the wisdom Esther used in listening to those that knew better than her, encouraged me to listen more to those older and wiser than I. If she hadn’t heeded the direction of Hegai, would she has received the love and favor of King Ahaseurus? Probably not.
In Steps Pride
Haman couldn’t stand that one man, Mordecai refused to reverence him like everyone else. This wounded his pride and fueled his anger. From the moment Mordecai failed to show Haman the respect he felt he was entitled to, he sought to kill the Jews, Mordecai’s people. He came up with a plan to annihilate the Jewish people and convinced King Ahaseurus to allow him to do so!
A Time of Mourning
Once the decree has been posted, Mordecai places himself at the king’s gate, possibly because Esther would find out about her uncle’s mourning. She obviously knew nothing about the decree because she simply tries to clothe Mordecai.
The Queen for Such a Time as This
Esther’s courageous faith is beautiful to behold. She accepts her uncle’s direction and dedicates herself to prayer and fasting prior to going before the king with her petition. Her people are at the point of being killed and she alone at this moment stands between them and death. Esther must go before the king without being summoned, which at that time was unheard of and could result in death. Still, she chose to go in armed with the prayers of her people supporting her and God at her side, and she obtained her husband’s favor at court. Not only did she obtain his favor but he also accepted her invite to dinner not once but twice!
Pride Returns with Boasting in Hand
Haman’s pride clouds everything! He assumes that he is being favored by being invited to the banquet. He clearly had no idea that Esther was a Jew. He headed home joyful from the dinner with King Ahaseurus and Queen Esther until he came across Mordecai who once again ignited anger inside of him. Somehow Haman kept his anger bottled up and moved into a boastful speech to which his family and friends were subjected to hearing. His pride has apparently been catching to those he spends time with because his wife and his friends help build his pride up again and encourage him to have gallows built upon which Mordecai should be hung.
There is so much more to the story of Esther that I hadn’t paid much attention to before. From the 4 year span between Vashti and Esther to the excessive pride that Haman was filled with, this week was full of enlightenment as we’ve studied and shared our thoughts through the first five chapters from the book of Esther.
If you missed the announcement, I’m Blogging Through the Bible with Courtney from Women Living Well, Bridget from Becoming a Godly Wife, Mandy from Women of Worship and Rosilind from A Little R & R as part of the Good Morning Girls Bible study group.
Every Friday you’ll find us sharing our thoughts on the study at Courtney’s corner where she is hosting a link up for all bloggers that are studying along with her!
Check out the other Good Morning Girls’ posts below.
Having Courage in The Face of Fear by Mandy
Right Place at the God Appointed Time by Bridget
The Girl and the Potter by Rosilind