A Woman of Courage and Submission
My name is Esther. My life story reads like a fast-moving novel which includes plot upon plot; sub-plots which are filled with intrigue, planned murders, corruption, hatred and fear, and even what could have been a genocide of my people, the Jewish nation.
Both of my parents died when I was very young, leaving me in the care of my cousin, Mordecai, who is a good man, wise in the ways of God and of the world. He watched over me all the years of my youth, investing in my education and growth. He always has had my best interests in mind, and wanted to provide me with every opportunity.
Mordecai heard, from his post in front of the palace, that King Xerxes had been so displeased with his wife, Vashti, the queen, when she would not attend his demand for her to be put on display before a drunken mob of men, that in his fury, he demoted her, rejecting her as a person and as queen from one moment to the next. There is when Mordecai began a plan.
It was obvious that a country and the king had to have a queen, so young maidens of the empire were selected to present themselves before the Hegai, the king’s chamberlain, to be cared for and prepared for the day they would go before the king, who would make his choice of the future queen. My cousin, Mordecai, took me also to be a part of these young maidens. I found favor in the eyes of Hegai, who gave me special attention, as a whole year past in which we were fed well, and given all sorts of cosmetics to make our skin and hair soft and beautiful! Hegai gave me seven helpers, who attended to my every need. There were days when I could hardly believe what was happening to me... me, a Jewish orphan girl… being prepared to go before the King himself!
The day came for all of us to be presented to the King. I was so excited and nervous about making my appearance before King Xerxes, that I hardly remember the day, but the day afterwards, I will never forget. I was called by name BY THE KING, who said he loved me above all the other women! He placed the royal crown on my head, proclaimed a feast, rejoicing in making me queen! From orphan to queen… oh, God, my Father, how you are watching over me to take care of me in miraculous ways!
After becoming queen a huge plot was made by an evil man named Haman, who wanted to revenge his wrath on one Jew he hated by getting the king to make an edict to kill ALL of the Jews in the kingdom! The king, not realizing exactly what was going on, signed the decree, which went out to all the cities and villages. All of my people were stunned and overcome with sorrow. My cousin contacted me and asked me to be wiling to go before the king to ask for the lives of my people, and for him to counteract the law he had signed.
Through much intrigue and wisdom that God gave me, I agreed to do this risky thing. The law said that no one could go before the king unless he had been called. I would go, taking my life in my hands, but appealing on behalf of my people. Mordecai said, “Who knows but that you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?” I said, “Yes, I will go, and if I perish, I perish.”
Great fear filled my heart as I dressed for the occasion of going into the king’s presence. As I approached, my heart beat so rapidly I could hear it, but just at the moment when I thought I would faint, the king stretched out his scepter to me, RECEIVING me into his presence! Oh how my joy was full!
But when I had to make the request for my people, another even greater fear came upon me. What if he refuses? What if he has me killed right on the spot? But God, in His watchfulness over me in my great fear, gave me favor in my husband’s eyes. He promised me anything I wanted, even up to half the kingdom! When I presented my request, he readily agreed to overwrite the decree of death, allowing my people to fight for their lives. How this all came about literally filled a whole book, so to get the intricate plots, and the breathtaking details, find my life’s story in the book which bears my name, Esther, in the Old Testament of the Bible. God has been so gracious to me watching over me as I took courage, being willing to submit to His will. I will love Him forever!