Esther and us
“…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14 (NLT)
As a teacher working in a Jewish school the story of Esther is one that we visit every year during the feast of Purim. Everyone in the school gets dressed up (embarrassing at times) and the school day is filled with ‘fun’ activities and ends at midday, to the relief of most of the staff! There is the Megillah reading which rehearses the story with cheering for Esther and Mordecai and boos when Haman is mentioned. The whole occasion has an air of pantomime about it. This at least softens the brutality of the events in this historic text for the younger audience.
This is a story of divine Providence at work in history and of individual courage and faith. The event takes place in the ancient land of Persia where the Jewish people lived in exile. In brief, Mordecai, a Jew, refuses to bow to senior palace official, Haman. In retaliation Haman sets up a decree to kill all of the Jews. Esther, a favoured and most beautiful queen (Esther 2:7-9) bravely gives her petition to the king to save her people. She reveals her previously undisclosed Jewish identity to him and her relationship (younger cousin) to Mordecai. Haman’s plan dramatically backfires resulting in his execution and with Mordecai, a trusted official, being given Haman’s more senior position in the king’s court.
The book of Esther is an interesting and powerful biblical story about the rescue of a chosen people from evil and destruction. It also reveals how Esther and Mordecai put their trust in God to save them. It is a story we can learn from. In the day to day rush of our lives it is easy to forget and overlook that we too are chosen for just such a time as this (Romans 8:28). We too have an adversary plotting to wipe us out (1Peter 5:8), but if God is for us we will prevail (Romans 8:31).
Like Esther and Mordecai we need courage, faith and strength to face the challenges of our daily lives: ‘Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.’ (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIVUK). And like them, we too can put our trust in God because he says, “ ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NIVUK).
Our God and Father, we pray that we put our trust and faith in you, and to be strong, courageous and faithful in our daily walk, whatever our circumstances. Amen
Study by Kevin Harris
About the writer:
Kevin Harris attends the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International.
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Local congregational contact:
Word of Life contact details: