This passed week I have been studying the book of Esther. I’m looking to study certain aspects of the Bible one on one instead of just scrolling along. As Christian’s we should have a firm understanding of scripture and how God can perform many miracles. The book of Esther is from the Old Testament. An interesting fact from the book of Esther is that God is never mentioned. In addition, I also have a cousin named Esther which is cool. It covers the life of Esther who was a Jewish Queen in the time of the Achaemenid Empire which was the very first Persian Empire. The Jewish holiday of Purim is a celebration of what occurred from the book of Esther. Likewise to most stories from the Bible the Jewish people are a small fish in a huge ocean, struggling to overcome their rulers and other powerful nations around them that seek to destroy them.
In the beginning, the Acheamenid king was Xerxes the first. Xerxes was having this feast. He was said to be in high spirits, mostly since he was drinking a lot of wine. Many times Xerxes is mentioned drinking heavily. He comes across as boastful King who likes to party, and a man with little common sense. While in high spirits he ordered his queen Vashti to appear before him and his guest. He wished to display her beauty, but when asked to follow her king’s commands she refused to be at the party. King Xerxe’s was puzzled and very upset by her decision, so he asked his wise men what he should do. He also created a decree that all Persian men should be masters of their home. Anyways The wise men understood that word would spread like jelly on a piece of toast about Queen Vashti’s refusal which would cause commoner wife’s to rebuke their husbands, so the wise guys decided she must be punished. Soon Queen Vashti was killed, leaving the drunkard Persian King searching for a new bride.
A little while later King Xerxes was once again in high spirit which must be the old phrase for” he’s feeling the buzz.” He decides to hold a beauty pageant sort of like Miss. Universe to find his new bride/Queen. This is where Esther and her Uncle Mordechai enter the story. Esther hides her identity and wins the competition, becoming King Xerxes new bride. Xerxe becomes so obsessed with Esther that soon enough Esther becomes the new Queen of Persia. Around this time Mordechai over heard a conversation where two men or more were plotting to murder the king. Mordechai tells Esther, so Esther goes on to tell the king and end this devious plot. At this point comes the villain of the story and his name was Haman.
Haman is a dissented of the ancient Canaanites, so likewise to Queen Esther he’s not Persian. The Persian King gives Haman a promotion which makes him a very important official, so Haman becomes conceited about his new role. Basically he wants everyone to bow down to him and praise his name. On the other hand, Mordechai does not allow Haman to boss him around which makes Haman very unhappy. Haman goes on to get permission from the king to create a decree to kill all of the Jewish people. To decide what day this purge of the Jewish people will begin Haman rolls a dice. I guess the game of Monopoly was much more vicious in those days. The dice shows that eleven months later on the 13th of Adar all the Jews shall die. After completing this scheme, King Xerxe and Haman go have a drink and gloat over what is ahead.
At this point, Esther and Mordechai are the Jewish people’s last hope at surviving, so they created a plan. Esther would go to the Persian King and reveal her true identity to him. She would also ask him to reverse the decree and save her people. The problem here is that asking the king for anything without a royal decree is against Persian law and may lead to death. King Xerxe tells Esther that perhaps her redemption may arrive in another matter. Later in the day, Mordechai tells Esther that this maybe the reason why she had become queen in this moment of time. Esther’s bravery shows as she goes to the king and tells him ” If I perish, I perish.” this was like her Patrick Henry” Give me Liberty or give me Death.” moment.
At this point in the story, Esther’s power begins to grow. Esther holds a few banquets for the king and his officials. We all know by now that KIng Xerxe’s loves to find ways to drink more wine. He just cannot help himself and neither could Haman. On his way home from the banquet Haman is high in spirit aka feeling the buzz. He notices Mordechai walking down the street. Again Haman’s anger toward Mordechai grows. Haman orders that a huge stake be placed in the city for Mordechai to be impaled on in the morning. As things turned for the worst God enters the picture.
The same night that the banquet was held King Xerxe’s cannot sleep, so he has the royal Chronicles read to him. As he’s being read too he hears how Mordechai saved his life somehow forgetting this event earlier on. I’m guessing his short memory had to do with his love of alcohol, but that is only my opinion. In the morning Haman arrives, asking the king when Mordechai will be slayed, but the Persian King tells Haman that Mordechai should live and be praised in a huge celebration.
Once again Esther holds a 2nd banquet. At this banquet, Esther reminds the Persian king that she is Jewish and that Haman created a decree to murder all the Jewish people. Again the king is in high spirits. Out of rage Xerxe’s has Haman impaled on a stake. This was both disturbing, yet humorous. Still Haman’s decree was still in place, so they had to find some way to veto that rubbish. Esther and her uncle create a new plan to reverse the decree, because lets face it this king is pretty gullible. Mordechai and the king agree to revamp this decree, allowing the Jewish people to fight for their lives and survive this purge. Mordechai now becomes the 2nd highest official to the king.
The decree day arrives and the Jewish people get a mighty victory over those who seek to destroy them. Mordechai and Esther create the holiday known as Purim to celebrate this moment.
The book of Esther to me is showing us how God still does His thing even when He’s not being mentioned. The Jewish people were in danger and God came to their rescue as always. God took Esther, a common young woman, and transformed her into one of the most important women of her age. Even when we’re not thinking about God, He’s always thinking about us. Think about something cool that may have happen in your life this week or last week. Maybe it was only a coincidence or maybe it was the Lord? Think about that for a few moments.