The Story of Esther
This story, is from the Old Testament book of Esther, begins when Israel was in exile after the time of Israel’s kings, King Abasuerus was on the throne of his kingdom. During the third year of his reign, he threw a party showing off all that he had. During that time he called for his wife Queen Vashti, but she refused to come, so he had her executed. The king needed a new bride, so he had his servants bring the fairest maidens to his castle to be prepared for purification. One of these young women was Esther, Mordicai’s .cousin. Mordicai was a Jew, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew.
For a year, Esther went through the purification ritual and she was added to his harem. The king made Esther his Queen. The king still did not know that Esther was a Jew.
In the mean time, Mordicai saved the king’s life and Mordicai because Mordicai had discovered that there was a plot to kill the king. Mordicai told Esther and Esther told the king. The two men Bigthan and Teresh were hung for their murder plot. Mordicai was not rewarded for his deed at that time.
Later, the king promoted a man named Haman over all the princes of the kingdom. Everyone was to bow down to Haman, but Mordicai refused. Haman was furious. Because Mordicai refused to bow, Haman decided to annihilate all Jews. The king agreed with a written, non-revokable decree. The Jews fasted and prayed for deliverance from God. Esther was told about the situation.
Esther risked her life and went before the king with a request. Esther asked that a banquet be prepared and that Haman and the king attend. Haman bragged to his friends that he alone was invited to a banquet with the king and queen. Haman devised a new plot to kill Mordicai, however, during the night the king could not sleep so he read records (probably to bore himself to sleep). There he found the incident where Mordicai had saved the king’s life but was not rewarded for his feat.
Haman had created a gallows to hang Mordicai thought about how he could go to the king to complete his plan. When Haman and the king were together, the king asked Haman how he could honor someone. Haman, thinking that the king was talking about him, told him to allow hthe man to wear his clothes and crown and ride his horse. So the king made Haman present Mordicai.
Then came the banquet that Esther had prepared. He then asked queen Esther what her petition was. She explained that she was a Jew and that her people’s enemy wanted to destroy them. The king demanded to know who this adversary was. Esther stated that it was Haman. The king then went out to the garden and Haman fell upon Esther’s bed to beg her to spare his life. When the king returned and saw that Haman was on Esther’s bed, he thought the worst. They hanged Haman on the gallows that Haman prepared for Mordicai. The king gave Mordicai the signet ring that he had given to Haman. Though the king could not rescind the decree to attack the Jews, he did provide arms for the Jews to defend themselves In the end, the persecuted became leaders in the kingdom.
Spiritual Significance Of Esther’s Character
As I look at the difference between Queen Vashti and Queen Esther. Queen Vashti was self-centered and she felt that her beauty would be enough to get what she wanted out of life. Esther, on the other hand, was a gentle giving soul who loved and respected her husband. She also loved and respected her people.
Esther was brave enough to step outside of her comfort zone to do what is right even though doing so could cost her life.She was not selfish, but thought about the needs of her people and the respect of her husband and king. In contrast to Vashti’s arrogance, she showed power in her submissive. In no way was she a doormat in any sense of the word.
She was a woman of integrity. So much so that when the king found Haman in her bed, he knew that Esther had not seduced him there.
As I think about and meditate about this young woman’s character, I think about how I can be more like this young woman. Beauty does have its place in a woman’s place of power. If Esther had not been beautiful, she would not have been considered as the queen. However, as Vasti learned, beauty has limited power. Esther’s primary power came not from her beauty, but from her respect, kindness and integrity.
Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.