Esther — Esther becomes queen & Mordecai protects the king.
Reading 1: Esther 1
Reading 2: Esther 2
Reading 3: Jeremiah 29:1-11
Sometimes the best things can happen in the worst situations (remember yesterday’s reflection). Today we read about Esther (also called Hadasseh) who was an exile during the time of God’s judgment on Israel for their sin. She, and her uncle Mordecai, clearly lived to trust and obey God, and God took them into situations that would be very significant – not just for them but for the whole of God’s Story in human history.
Mordecai honored and protected the king (even though the king was anything but godly), showing that Mordecai understood that the source of all authority is God, whether that authority is used in a godly manner or not. Esther also submitted to an ungodly decree that affected her even more profoundly – she became the king’s wife!
All of this took place in circumstances that Christians today would have loudly condemned, organizing petitions, boycotts, and social media campaigns. Why did Mordecai and Esther support and participate in such a pagan system? Because God had commanded it, through the prophet Jeremiah, when Israel/Judah was exiled. God’s plan, His Story, is bigger than the circumstances of the moment. God will call, guide, protect, and work through any of His followers, even in deeply ungodly situations, if they trust Him, submit to authority, and obey God.
In Esther’s case, there is significance in her experience that is relevant to many of us. God had a plan for her that required her to take a path of submission in an ungodly situation. Her past (as a country girl used to working hard in the fields) would have disqualified her as a beautiful queen if she had not taken the time to prepare. But Esther trusted God’s Word, her uncle’s wisdom, and the instructions of the authority figures in the ungodly system. She took six months to heal the scars and wounds of her upbringing, and another six months for her beauty to be defined and enhanced, before going to the king. We would do well to follow her example. We all have issues from the past that will disfigure us until God’s love and truth wash them away. Each of us has only potential until God beautifies us with giftings, wisdom, and life experience offered to Him. Then, in God’s timing, all that preparation bears fruit and we find ourselves ready for God to work; as we shall see next.
Have a great day!