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Esther - Women of the Bible

Read The book of Esther Chapters 1 - 10


Introduction
Esther was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin who grew up as
an exile in Persia.
Esther was her Persian name. The name Esther means 'star'
and is a derivation of the root name of the goddess Ishtar.
Her Jewish name was Hadassah. Hadassah, which means
'Myrtle', is a branch that signifies peace and thanksgiving.
Two things Esther did bring to her people.
Esther was an orphan who was brought up by her older
cousin, Mordecai (Esther 2:5-7).
The book of Esther is unique in the Bible as the name of God
is never directly mentioned there.
The story
The book of Esther touches on the life of more than Esther.
The other main characters in this story are:
1. King Xerxes (also spelt Ahasuerus). He was the powerful
King who ruled over 127 provinces.
2. Queen Vashti, she was the beautiful wife of Xerxes. She
refused to show off her beauty to King Xerxes and
unwittingly set in motion the rise of Esther.
3. Then we have Mordecai, Esther's cousin and guardian.
He is another key figure in this story.
4. And finally there is Haman the Agagite (Esther 3:1). Agag
is a reference to the royal title of the Amalekites, long
standing enemies of Israel (Exodus 17; 1 Samuel 15).

In this short study we will concentrate on the life of


Esther.
Esther
In Chapter one of the book of Esther we are introduced to
king Xerxes who decided to display his abundant wealth for
180 days. As if not enough, it is followed by a seven day
feast. A lavish display of his power indeed.
On the seventh day of the seven day feast, King Xerxes
summons Queen Vashti in order to display her beauty to all
the people. She refuses to come and is eventually banished
from the kings presence as a punishment. A new Queen is
sought.
In chapter two Esther is chosen to be Queen. She goes
through the normal twelve months of beauty treatment
before meeting the King.
Chapter two also records the good deed of Mordecai in saving
the Kings life by alerting him of an assassination attempt on
his life. This deed is recorded in the record books and later
serves as a blessing for Mordecai in the future.
God never forgets our labor of love (Hebrews 6:10).
In Chapter three Haman is honored by the King and given a
high position in the kingdom. Haman is annoyed with
Mordecai because Mordecai refused to kneel down to him.
Haman's anger leads him to plot the execution of all the Jews
in the kingdom.
In order to prevent the execution of all the Jews Mordecai
calls on Esther to intercede to the King. The only problem
here is that the King does not know that Esther is a Jew.
Esther has no idea of how the King will respond to this news.

Although God is never mentioned in the book of Esther we


can see His acts in the background. Nothing takes God
unaware.
Esther's reluctance to approach the King is met by stern
words from Mordecai.
In Chapter 4:14 he say:

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will
rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your
father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have
not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther eventually agrees to appeal to the King. Prior to this
she asks Mordecai to organise a time of fasting for her. She is
well aware that she needs God's favour if she is to succeed.
Fasting, the abstinence from food for a pre-determined
period, is a godly exercise which bring us closer to God.
In Chapter five Esther approaches the King and invites him
and Haman to a banquet. This is an attempt to get the timing
right before she informs the king about Haman's plot to kill
the Jews of which she is one. Esther had hid the fact that she
was a Jew from the King on Mordecai's advice.
God's timing is always best. We need to wait for God's timing
in doing things. It is dangerous to jump out before time.
Meanwhile Haman's hatred for Mordecai is growing and on
the advice of his friends and wife he has a special gallows
prepared beside his house on which to hang Mordecai. In
Chapter six God moves to save the Jews. The King cannot
sleep and asks for the record books to be read aloud to him.
The deeds of Mordecai in saving the king in the past are read
out.

In an extraordinary twist of events the King asks Haman what


should be done to a man who the king wants to honor.
Haman, in his arrogance, thinks the king is referring to him
and advises a lavish display of wealth and honor to be
bestowed on the man publicly. The King orders Haman to do
this for Mordecai. Can you imagine the shock, horror and
humiliation Haman must have suffered! (You must read the
book of Esther)
In chapter seven Esther reveals to the king that she is a Jew
and that Haman has plotted to kill them all. Events now take
a drastic turn for Haman who ends up getting hanged on the
gallows he erected for the death of Mordecai.
In Chapter eight, nine and ten all the Jews are saved and
Haman's children are killed.
Esther saved the Jews.
Her life can teach us several vital lessons
1. There is a preparation time.
She allowed herself to be prepared for the task. God's
preparation time can sometimes be long and uneventful.
Moses spent 40 years in the desert looking after sheep before
coming to deliver the Israelites. The refining of our characters
is very essential to God's plan for our life. God cannot use a
proud woman (or man).
2. We need the favour of God.
Esther found favour with the King and so did Mordecai. Even
Jesus grew in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52). When
you live a life pleasing to God, by obeying His will you will
find favour with Him. God will also give you favour with
people.
3. God works in His own time and season.

Esther got her timing right. Maybe God has put it on your
heart to do something for Him. Don't just jump into it but wait
for his time. Joseph was in jail until it was God's time for him
to be released. God will move in His time when we remain
faithful and alert to His leading.
4. Your background does not hinder your future with
God.
Esther was an orphan. God still exalted her and used her.
Some of Jesus' disciples were fishermen, tax collectors and
one was a doctor. Your background does not determine what
God can do with you. Your faith does.
4 Reasons to Face the New Year without Fear
God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an
insightful command as we face a new year: "Let your
conversation be without covetousness; and be content with
such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is
my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me"
(Hebrews 13:5-6).
We can live this coming year without fear if we apply these
four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them
deep into our hearts.
The Contentment of His Provision
Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting
what you already have. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness
with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into
this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And
having food and raiment let us therewith be content." If you
know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you've got
clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in
your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs


or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or
we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are
going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your
heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Companionship of His Presence
I don't know what I'm going to face next year. But there's one
thing I know, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God?
He will never leave you either. Isn't that wonderful!
What's another reason we may fear in the coming year?
Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something
we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it
alone.
When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it
literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not
give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord
this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at you
heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer
the door."
The Confidence of His Promise
We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in
Hebrews, "He hath said." A promise is no better than the one
who makes it. Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake
thee"? It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.
This is the confidence of His promise.
In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the
strength." The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave
thee nor forsake thee." When you say, "God, I'm afraid of
what is going to happen." The omnipresent God says, "I will
never leave thee nor forsake thee." And when you say, "God,
I don't know what to do." The omniscient God will respond, "I
will never leave thee nor forsake thee." He himself hath said

it.
The Comfort of His Protection
Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord
is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Now, put that with verse 5, which says, "He hath said."
Like I said earlier, I don't know what you're going to go
through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, "The
Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me."
When you find your contentment, companionship, and
confidence in Jesus. Then, you'll find your comfort and
courage in Jesus.