Project Description


A Word To Women

The book of Esther is a thriller. Under threat from a scheming and evil enemy, the Jews faced being wiped from the face of the earth. But while God’s name is not mentioned in the book, when we survey the ultimate deliverance of these Jews, we can trace His hand throughout the entire narrative

Esther means star and so she would prove to be. Orphaned, and raised by a loving cousin, she lived in the capital city of the Persian Empire. Esther was one among many young, beautiful girls taken to the palace as a possible replacement for the deposed Queen Vashti. It was not a position any faithful child of God would have desired. Removed permanently from home, family, friends and public worship she became part of a large harem in a hostile, heathen environment. Esther could easily have become bitter, but instead her star shone brightly. She did not seek advancement but was modest and content, and so “Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” (Esther 2:15) Obedient to Mordecai’s warning, Esther did not reveal her faith. Sometimes in places where we cannot openly declare our trust in the Lord Jesus, our lives can still shine brightly for Him (Matthew 5:16). Even the heathen King could see that Esther’s beauty was more than skin deep, and he chose her as his new Queen.

Esther’s lot was not ideal but she settled into life in the palace. Communication with her cousin was managed through her courtiers. With alarm she heard of Mordecai’s distress, the result of a law designed by wicked Haman, but enacted by Ahasuerus for the annihilation of the Jews. Humanly speaking, the hope of the Jews lay with Esther. “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) There are times when we must stand firmly for the Lord. It could mean a loss of prestige, employment, business, or even prosecution, imprisonment and death. How would we cope in such circumstances? Esther was aware of the risk and knew she could not stand in her own strength. She asked all the Jews to fast and pray for her, while she and her maids did likewise. Only then would she feel able to enter uninvited into the King’s presence to seek deliverance for her people. Every Christian can with Paul say, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) The secret is prayer – real, interceding prayer.

Probably in fear and trembling, Esther dressed in her royal attire to enter the court of the King. He saw her and extended his sceptre in welcome. The King knew that Esther had an important reason for daring to approach him uninvited. He asked what she desired, offering her up to half the kingdom. Strengthened and guided by the Lord, Esther displayed great wisdom. She invited the King to a private banquet in his honour, with Haman the only other guest. Another invitation enabled Esther to finally plead her cause. The Lord sent forth His disciples “as sheep in the midst of wolves”. And he added, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Esther showed this wisdom, and so should we.

Haman read his invitation to dine with the Queen as a sign of his importance. However he was to learn that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Haman suffered an ignominious death, while the Jews were delivered. Esther really was in the right place at the right time.

Olive Maxwell.