The historical record of Queen Esther, another fearless godly woman clearly shows the hands of God in her life. The whole amazing life and death episode for a whole people group as recorded (in excerpts) in the following passages took place over a brief period of ten years. The planned timings were strategic and flawless. It was supernatural and divine. What was Esther’s role then? She was fearless and faithful to execute God’s plan. Neither the powerful king of Persia nor his second in command, Haman (an enemy of the Jews) knew of the true identity of Esther, a Jewish girl. God’s hand selected and planted her in the midst of the brewing storm and she proved her worth.
Summary on significant timings of events concerning the powerful king of Persia:
- On the third year of the king’s reign he gave a party during which his first wife (Queen Vashti) publicly dishonored him and thus lost her royal position.
- On the seventh year of the king’s reign, Esther (a Jewish girl) was made queen to replace Queen Vashti and her uncle Mordecai became a palace official. Mordecai was strategically positioned to discover a plot to assassinate the king and saved him in time.
- Sometime later the king promoted Haman to be the most powerful official in the empire. During the twelfth year of the king’s reign, Haman plotted the massacre of all the Jews in the empire and manipulated the king to issue the decree of death to the Jews.
- Mordecai told Esther and Esther instituted a fast for three days before she entered the presence of the king with boldness and wisdom.
- Because of the strategic positions of both Queen Esther and Mordecai in the king’s court, the Jews in the Persian Empire were saved. Their arch-enemy Haman was impaled on his own gallows (originally constructed to hang Mordecai).
- Within two months (70 days) from the time of Haman’s murderous scheme to the ascension of Queen Esther and Mordecai, the fate of the Jews was divinely intervened and transformed, in which they gained the king’s royal decree to defend their lives.
- Within a year on the appointed date to execute both decrees (one of which marked for death by the decree of the same king), the Jews indeed overcame their enemies with the decree for life. Life triumphed over death!
Reading of the Bible verses from Esther (excerpts):
1:1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty. 9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Xerxes. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
2:16 Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18 To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone. 19… and Mordecai had become a palace official. 21 One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthana and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king’s private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him. 22 But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report.
3:1 Some time later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.
3:7 So in the month of April, during the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ reign, lots were cast in Haman’s presence (the lots were called Purim) to determine the best day and month to take action. And the day selected was March 7, nearly a year later.
4:15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
5:1 On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.
8:9 So on June 2 the king’s secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Mordecai dictated. It was sent to the Jews and to the highest officers, the governors, and the nobles of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including that of the Jews.
9:1 So on March 7 the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. 2 The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai. 4 For Mordecai had been promoted in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces as he became more and more powerful.