But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.
So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”
“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”
So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]”
King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!” 1So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
Esther was a remarkable woman who emanated Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit way before Jesus’ time. We see that Esther was submissive, dependent, and obedient to her God-given authorities Mordecai and King Ahasuerus just as the Lord Jesus lived in total submission, dependence, and obedience to his Father God.
Esther’s childhood gave her the ability to fully identify herself with her people. She fasted and interceded to God on their behalf just as Hebrews 2:17 tells us that “in all things He (Jesus) had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest.” Jesus fasts and intercedes to God on our behalf.
Esther also gave up her right to live in order to save the nation from certain death under Haman’s plan. She was willing to die to save her people and in turn, was exalted by the king. Jesus gave up His life that a world of sinners might be saved from eternal death and He, too, was exalted by The King of Kings.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We learn three things from these scriptures:
First, we are blessed through our obedience to God. Under the old covenant, obedience was a requirement for righteousness (right standing before God). But, does God require obedience now? Not at all. All of us in Jesus are righteous in His sight. Obedience then becomes something we want to do because of what Jesus did for us.
As I reflect on my own life and see how God has protected me, and the many blessings I’ve been given, I am so very thankful. That alone makes me what to be obedient. Then through our obedience, we have a deeper relationship with Him. Once we realize how much God gave up and how far He goes to reach us, why wouldn’t want to be obedient?
We also learn that fasting and prayer bring deliverance. I don’t know about you but fasting is not on my top 10 list, not even my top 100. Fasting and praying isn’t simply an automatic way to accomplish our desires. Its purpose is to focus our hearts and thoughts on Gods will. It is to take our eyes off the things of this world and to focus on God. We get answers and miracles happen.
Finally, we should stand with courage. God grants seasons of favor for His people in order to extend His kingdom. We’ve read situations like this throughout the Bible and I’ve seen this in different situations in my life and the lives of people around me. There are a lot of bible verses about courage. My favorite is what we should be praying every day.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Whatever the name, Satan is working in someone to form a conspiracy against Gods people. Know that God uses everything and everybody for His divine purpose. No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, it doesn’t have to be so perfect as Esther’s. Thanks to our marvelous savior, Jesus, we are forgiven and get to start new every day.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for blessing me, hearing me and protecting me. Help me to learn to be more obedient and show me how to be more submissive to your will. Help me to want to fast and pray when I am having struggles in my life so I can focus on and hear from you. Thank you for your protection over me and Father I pray that you make me more alert to the schemes of Satan working around me. Father, I just pray that I can be centered on you always. In Jesus name, Amen.
Today’s post was written by Debra Vallier
Debra grew up going to church in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. The sun and beaches drew her to Florida at a young age. Wanting a better lifestyle for her 3 children, Debra moved them all to Clermont in 2004. Debra, along with daughter, Lorin, son-in-law Steel, daughter Jenna, and son-in-law Christian all currently reside in Clermont. Debra’s son Matt lives in PA with his wife, Crystal, and their daughters, Allie and Olivia. Debra loves her career as a full-time Realtor, has a very active lifestyle enjoying many outdoor activities, enjoys cooking, being creative, and loves serving as a Life Group Facilitator and Life Group Coordinator at the Real Life Clermont campus. Debra’s favorite pastime is getting together with family and friends doing just about anything.