Ok let’s start with an overview of Esther in case it’s been a while since you’ve read it:
It seems odd that the awareness of God, or even of the people of God, brings out the worst in some people. God, the source of all goodness and blessing and joy, at times becomes the occasion for nearly unimaginable acts of cruelty, atrocity, and evil.
There is a long history of killing men and women simply because they are percieved as reminders or representatives of the living God, as if killing peope who worship God gets rid of God himself. We’ve recently completed a century marked by an extraordinary frenzy of such “god” killing. To no one’s surprise, God is still alive and present.
The book of Esther opens a window on this world of violence directed, whether openly or covertly, against God and God’s people. The perspective it provides transcends the occasion that provoked it, a nasty scheme to massacre all the exiled Jews who lived in the vast expanse of fifth-century B.C. Persia. Three characters shape the plot. Mordecai, indentified simply as “the Jew,” anchors the story. He is solid, faithful, sane, godly. His goodness is more than matched by the evil and arrogant vanity of Haman, who masterminds the planned massacre. Mordecai’s young, orphaned, and ravishing cousin, Esther, whom he has raised, emerges from the shadows of the royal harem to take on the title role.
It turns our that no God-representing man and woman get killed in this story-in a dramatic turnaround, the plot fails. But millions before and after Esther have been and, no doubt, will continue to be killed. There is hardly a culture or century that doesn’t eventually find a Haman determined to rid the world of evidence and reminders of God. Meanwhile, Esther continues to speak the final and definitive word: You can’t eliminate God’s people. No matter how many of them you kill, you can’t rid of the communities of God-honoring, God-serving, God-worshiping people scattered all over Earth. This is the final and definitive word.
I just love Esther. It’s probably my favorite book in the bible. The name Esther means “star” if you’ve seen the movie, “one night with the king” you know how cool that is! I absolutely love that movie but after you read the REAL story, you understand how “hollywood” the movie is!
I’ve been reading the book of Esther through and through, trying to get even more out of it each time I read it. God has been talking to me through the book of Esther a lot this year!
Candy Gilbert always has a “word” each year that God picks out for her so this year I wanted to do that too. I flipped my bible open, assuming that would lead to something to put me on the right track. 3 guesses what I flipped to… YEP! you got it! Esther! Then God spoke the word “servant” to me. I decided Esther and “servant” tied into each other so “servant” is my word for the year. So I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about Esther lately. A couple weeks ago, the day that school started- i went to soaking and Amy asked two girls who had just gotten back from Isreal to impart over us. When it was my turn, God gave one of them the phrase “for such a time as this” the other girl finished the thought by telling me that is the Esther Annointing and that God has called me to live this set apart life and that I’m in this place for such a time as this. Even though God had hard things for Esther to carry, she said yes. They finished up by telling me not to be afraid. Esther had so many excuses she could have used- excuses that she probably should have used. But she trusted God more than she trusted herself.
So this also ties along with a verse God has put on my heart, recently. “if I’m with you, you have NOTHING to fear. And I’m ALWAYS with you!”
Esther knew she would probably die, Queen Vashti had defied the king’s orders not too long before that. And although Queen Vashti probably did what the Lord would have had her do, her story didn’t end so happily…
So I understand that saying yes to God can result in death. But honestly, that doesn’t bother me. I should have been the one nailed up on that cross anyways. The least I can do is die proclaiming Jesus.