Do you like thrilling stories? If you haven’t already, you should definitely read Esther in the Bible. Heroes, villains, evil plots, and divine triumphs!
What’s especially surprising is that God is not mentioned in the book even once! However, the work of His hands is threaded throughout the entire story.
Before we dig too much deeper into this book of the Bible, there are a few questions we need to stop and consider.
- What is the main message of the book of Esther?
- Who was Esther in the Bible and what did she do?
- What made her so special?
- What can we learn from Esther in the Bible?
Who Was Esther in the Bible?
Esther’s story is chronicled in the book of Esther in the Bible. Makes sense, right? You will not find her mentioned in each chapter, but if you want a good idea of how the Lord used her life in light of the culture and times she lived, you should definitely read the entire book of Esther.
Here are a few of the main points and events of her story.
Esther Was An Orphaned Jew
Esther was living in the custody of her cousin Mordecai. Mordecai and Esther were from the tribe of Benjamin. In Esther chapter 2 we learn the following about Mordecai:
“Mordecai had been taken from Jerusalem with the exiles who had been deported with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had deported. 7 He was the guardian to Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father or mother.” Esther 2:6-7 NASB
Esther Was A Victim of Child Trafficking
When we initially read her story, we may not think that Esther was a victim of trafficking. Child trafficking is defined as “the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt” of a child for the purpose of exploitation”.
So, if we look a bit closer at Esther chapter 2 and consider the reason why she was brought to the king, we understand that she was victimized in this way.
Esther Became Queen of Susa
Despite all of this, God remained with Esther and caused her to find favor with all who were associated with her.
And Esther was finding favor in the eyes of all who saw her. – Esther 2:15
When it was her turn to go to the King, she found favor with him also.
The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal turban on her head and made her queen – Esther 2:17
God Used Esther to Save His People
Esther chapter 3 introduces us to an evil man named Haman. Haman was angry with Mordecai (remember Mordecai is Esther’s cousin) for now bowing down to him. When Haman discovered that Mordecai belonged to the Jews, he devised a plot to annihilate them all from the land.
When Esther learns of this evil plan she tells Mordecai…
“Go, gather all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants also will fast in the same way. And then I will go in to the king, which is not in accordance with the law; and if I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:16
After this three-day fast, God gives Esther the wisdom and courage to go to the King and plead on behalf of her people. Once again, she found favor with the King. Haman’s evil plot was reversed and God’s people were spared.
Do Your Own Esther Bible Study
There is much to learn about the life of Esther that are not fully covered here today. I would encourage you to do your own in-depth study of Esther. You can use the character Bible study worksheets to help you with this.
Book of Esther Summary by Chapter
Here is a brief summary of the main messages of Esther found in the first 7 chapters in the book of Esther in the Bible.
- Chapter 1 – Third year of Ahasuerus reign, Queen Vashti removed from her position
- Chapter 2- Seventh year of Ahasuerus reign, Esther made queen
- Chapter 3 – Twelfth year of Ahasurerus reign, Haman plots to destroy the Jews (Esther’s people).
- Chapter 4 – Mordecai informed Esther to go to the King
- Chapter 5 – Esther goes before the King
- Chapter 6 – King Ahasuerus honored Mordecai
- Chapter 7 – Esther exposed Haman and his plot to the King; Haman hanged
Characteristics of Esther in the Bible
Let’s consider some of the characteristics this story reveals about our main character.
Esther Was a Woman of Courage
We see threads of courage throughout the life and story of Esther. There were multiple moments that required her to step out of her comfort zone and courageously trust God for His divine protection. The most courageous moment we see would be the moment that she stepped before the king. Even as queen, it was not legal for her to come before the king without a proper invite. The penalty for this was death. She did this at the risk of her own life.
Esther Was a Woman of Submission
Esther understood the importance of the divine authority God had placed in her life. Even after becoming queen, we see her submit to her cousin, Mordecai. He had asked her not to disclose to anyone in the palace that she was a Jew. He also encouraged her not to fear the kings wrath. That perhaps God had placed her in the position of queen for the purpose of saving her people.
Esther submitted to her cousin Mordecai and listened to the wisdom he spoke to her. She continued to follow his guidance and submit to his authority.
Esther Was a Woman of Wisdom
In the book of Esther chapters 5-7 are when we see Esther’s wisdom really shine! Here is where we see her devise a plan to expose Haman’s plot and plead with the King for the sake of her people. She used patience and humility in her conversations and requests.
What Can We Learn From Esther in the Bible
Not only do we learn much about Esther and her godly characteristics, but there is also much we can learn about God and how we can live in a way that is pleasing to Him.
God’s Plan Will Prevail
Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the advice of the Lord will stand. – Proverbs 19:21
Haman’s plan was to destroy the Jews. He had the means to do it. Fortunately, this story gives us a great example of how God’s plan will prevail. No amount of power or authority can stand against God and His plan for His people.
Following God is Not Easy
This story also shows us that following God is not easy. Many people believe that once you give your life to the Lord all your problems and difficulties will fade away. This could not be farther from the truth. Following God often leads to trials and difficulty.
Esther had a hard choice to make. She could go before the king to plead for the salvation of her people at the risk of her own life, or she could have chosen not to. Thankfully, she made the decision to follow God into a difficult situation and He honored her for it.
Prayer Changes Things
Prayer is our direct line of communication to God. Prayer is how we access and use the resources given to us in the spiritual realm. When Esther prayed and called all of the Jews in the province to pray, they were bringing the kingdom of God into their earthly circumstances. The battle that we fight in the unseen spiritual realm affects what happens in our lives and surroundings.
Prayer changes things!
God Has A Purpose for Us
I love the story of Esther in the Bible because it shows us how God uses ordinary people for extraordinary purposes (I know that’s cliche… but it’s true!). Esther was not rich, popular, or powerful. But God – His presence, His power, and His purpose went before her. He used her to accomplish greatness.
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