I’ve always enjoyed reading about the women of the Bible because I feel like there is so much we can glean from their stories: what to do and what not to do, how to have courage, trust God, etc. I thought it would be fun to do a little study of the women in the Bible and figured who better to start with than Esther (because she’s my favorite!)
I think we can all agree that Esther is an incredible woman and if you are not familiar with her tale, here is a (brief) synopsis: Esther, who’s name is actually Hadassah, was a beautiful Jewish orphan taken in by her cousin Mordecai.
The King of Persia, Xerxes, had recently vanquished his Queen for not coming to him when he called for her. Seeking a new Queen, he had the young, virgin women of the area brought to his palace to get to know them. Hadassah was taken to him, however her cousin told her to go by the name of Esther instead. Esther won the favor of the King with her beauty and charm and was crowned Queen. It was at this time that one of the King’s advisers, Haman (booooooo!) got mad because Mordecai, a Jew and Esther’s cousin, would not bow down to him at the King’s orders. Haman (boooooo!) hatched a plot to trick the King into killing all of the Jews in Persia. Haman (booooo!) would have succeeded but Esther risked almost certain death to intercede for her people and saved them.
P.S. Haman was impaled.
This was just a very brief run through of the tale and I definitely recommend reading the whole book (it’s only ten chapters long) to get a real idea of how things went down.
With all of that being said, there is a lot that can be learned from our dear, Queen Esther.
1. Esther was Unqualified
Esther was just a Jewish orphan being raised by her cousin. Though she admittedly was very beautiful and charming (Esther 2:7), I am sure she never imagined she would be Queen of Persia.
Not only did she become Queen, she saved an entire people! This is such a wonderful reminder that not only will God use everyone who loves Him (this includes orphans, adulterers, drunks, beggars, cripples, etc.) to fulfill His will, but it confirms that God has a plan for our lives before we are even born!
Esther 4:14 shows Mordecai saying this to Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
It was no coincidence that Esther, a Jew, became Queen the same time her people would be needing saved. God knew His children would need deliverance and He set into motion a plan that would save them: Hadassah became an orphan so that her cousin, Mordecai would adopt her. This put her in the right place at the right time so that she was taken to the King along with the other eligible women.
The King was smitten with her and crowned her Queen which put her in a prime position to advocate for her people. None of these things are coincidences, but instead evidence of God’s divine intervention. You can be certain that God is doing the same thing in your life right now (Jeremiah 29:11)!
2. Esther had Great Courage
Approaching the King’s throne without being summoned meant certain death unless he had mercy and extended his scepter toward the person. Esther had no obligation to put her life on the line; as far the King knew she Esther from Susa not Hadassah the Jewish orphan; she was completely safe. Yet she bravely resolved to approach the King un-summoned to advocate for her people declaring, “If I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16).”
How many times have we ignored that still small voice of God telling us to do something because we were too afraid of the end result? I know that I’ve done so more times than I can count! One thing I have always struggled with is sharing my faith with family and friends (for me, it’s so much harder than approaching a stranger!). I don’t fear death as a consequence, but I do fear judgement, ridicule, and rejection. Lately, I’ve taken to reminding myself that if Esther could face the threat of death then I can face possibly becoming the butt of my family and friends’ jokes.
3. Esther Sought God First
Esther did not approach the King the moment she learned of the coming demise of her people. Instead, she had Mordecai, the other Jews of Susa, and her attendants to fast and prayer with her for three days (Esther 4:16).
I frequently find myself rushing into situations without first consulting God; these situations often end up in a mess. Yet, I am somehow always convinced that I have the strength to everything on my own (I’m always wrong). Esther sought God before she approached the King because she knew that she would need God’s strength, favor, and wisdom to accomplish her goal.
As you can see, Esther is a pretty spectacular woman! She became Queen of Persia despite her lack of qualifications, she had tremendous courage and risked her life for her people, and she sought God first in all she did!
If you’re interested in learning more about Esther, the YouVersion Bible app has an excellent study that goes through her story verse by verse and helps you apply the wisdom to your own life!
What have you learned from Esther? What woman of the Bible would you like to see next?