Saturday, April 29, 2017


Women In An Era Of Political Decline

Esther: "For such a time as this"

Key Scripture: The Book of Esther

Her Name Means: Esther was her Persian name. Her Jewish name was Hadassah. Esther means: “Aster” meaning “a star” Hadassah means "Myrtle" (signifies peace and thanksgiving).

Her Character: Esther proved to be a woman of unusual wisdom and courage, facing adversity and wickedness with a quiet confidence and grace.

Her Strengths: Esther serves as a positive role model for women, both in the time the book was written and down through the centuries to the present day.

Pre-Story: The story of Esther takes place in the Persian Empire during the reign of  King Xerxes I. who reigned from 486-465 B.C. He ruled over a vast empire that extended from India to Ethiopia.

Esther was a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, which had been part of the kingdom of Judah. Her ancestors were among the Jews who had been carried captive to Babylon nearly 100 years earlier. After the death of Esther’s parents, she was raised by Mordecai, an older cousin who served in the Persian ruler’s palace.

Her Story: The story of Esther begins with a grand banquet at the palace of King Xerxes. The king had become drunk on wine and commanded that his wife, Queen Vashti come out before everyone to show how beautiful she was. Queen Vashti, who was entertaining other women at the festive, refused to be paraded before everyone. King Xerxes was so angry at her disrespect and disregard for his request that he divorced her. The king immediately called for a nation-wide beauty pageant to be held to find a new beautiful queen.

Esther was young and very beautiful so she was taken with other young women to a citadel. A man named Hegai was put in charge of preparing the women for meeting the king. Esther's beauty won her Hegai's favor and she was given special attention. Esther was careful however to not tell anyone her Jewish nationality, as Mordecai had warned her not to.

When it was Esther's turn to go before the king, he immediately found her the most attractive and beautiful of all woman and placed the royal crown on her head. King Xerxes held a great banquet for his new queen, Esther.

Esther continued to hide her Jewish background as Mordecai had instructed her to do because he knew it would be dangerous for her if anyone found out she was a Jew.

One night when Mordecai was sitting by the king's gate, he overheard two guards conspiring to assassinate King Xerxes. Mordecai told Queen Esther of the plan and Esther told the king, giving credit to Mordecai for overhearing the plan. The two guards were hanged.

Haman had been promoted to the highest position in King Xerxes kingdom. The King had given orders that his officials the royal gate honor Human by kneeling to him. All the men kneeled except Mordecai, because he was Jewish.

When Haman found out about this he became enraged with anger and wanted to kill not only just Mordecai but all of the Jewish nation. Haman convinced King Xerxes to kill all Jews as they stood in opposition to the king's rule. The king agreed and set a date for all Jews to be killed.

Mordecai told Esther about the king's edict to kill all the Jewish people. Esther feared for her life and tried to avoid his request to do something. Mordecai again pleaded with Queen Esther to do something to save the people.

Esther responded instructing all Jews to join her in fasting for three days and three nights, then she would approach the king with her request.Esther went to King Xerxes after three days of fasting and the king asked her what her request was. Ester asked that the king and Haman join her at a banquet the next day.

The king said yes and asked Esther to let her request be known at the banquet. Haman was still so enraged with Mordecai that he went to set up a pole to impale Mordecai the morning before the banquet.

The next day was the banquet Esther had called for. The king again asked Esther what her request was so he could grant her what she wanted. Esther boldly asked that she and her people be spared and that Haman had plotted to kill all Jews for money. The king was filled with anger against Haman and had him hanged on the very pole that Haman had set up for Mordecai.

Queen Esther and Mordecai were given Haman's estate. They were honored with royal garments and a decree was written to protect all Jews.

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: While God is not directly mentioned in this book, His hand and perfect timing are seen in every turn of events. God put Esther in just the right place at just the right time. "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14). He used the circumstances in Esther's life to work out his divine plans and purposes. The Lord raised up Esther to deliver his people from destruction.

Her Challenges Along the Way: Esther risked her life to serve God and save her people.

Her Victories: She saved her nation from genocide.

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: Esther is such an inspiring story about a remarkable woman who was willing to risk her life to save her people. She was a woman of principle who was willing to put the lives of others ahead of even her own life. She was an outstanding example of serving others even under the most stressful circumstances. Jesus Christ said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Birthplace: Susa, Iran
Died: 450 BC
Spouse: Xerxes I
Children: Amytis (Daughter) · Prince Arsites of Persia (Son) · Artarius of Babel - Gubernur. (Son) · Dareiaia (Daughter)
Parents: Abihail (Father)