Today we read further how this orphaned girl shone as the Queen of the powerful Persian Empire.
Here is a bit of background on how this orphaned Jewish girl saved herself and her Jewish countrymen fron annihilation by the enemy.
Esther 3 New King James Version (NKJV) Haman’s Conspiracy Against the Jews
3:1 “After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. 2 And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.”
Haman then persuaded the King to allow him to kill all the Jews in the empire. He offered to give money to the King. The King agreed. Here is his decree:
13 “And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day,”
The response of Esther to this threat of impending death:
Esther 4 New King James Version (NKJV) Esther Agrees to Help the Jews
4 When Mordecai (Esther’s cousin and adopted father) learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.
4 So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was. 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate. 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.
8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. 9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” 12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words.
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.[a]
- Esther 4:17 Septuagint adds a prayer of Mordecai here.
Summary: How did Esther shine in this terrible event:
- Esther kept touch with her adopted father Modecai
- She was deeply distressed when she heard of his condition. “He tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes and went to the king’s gate” and refused her gift of clothes.
- She immediately wanted to know what had happened and sent her messenger to find out.
- Her courage and kindness gave Modecai the opportunity to inform her of the death threat.
- Esther then had to make a life and death decision, to go see the king without prior permission. she was faced with the following risks: (a) In law this action could cost her own life even before she could make a petition’; (b) In the physical she was not under the king’s favor at that crucial moment. She not been called to go in to the king these thirty days. She was not the king’s best love anymore. Yet she would save her marriage by this action of faith!
- After a further advice from her adopted father, Esther made a bold decision: she had no resources in the physical but she could turn to the spiritual realm, by fasting and praying. She would do it herself for three days and asked her Jewish people to do likewise and stand with her in the spirit.
- She also made a final decision: It would be either life or death in her action and she was prepared to die if she had to.