Esther 1, 2 Focus Verse: When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. – Esther 2:15
Esther was beautiful to others, not only because of her looks, but also because of her authentic humility, grace, teachable spirit, and willingness to follow the advice of others. When it was her time to go before the king, she did not ask for anything other than what the king’s eunuch, Hegai, advised her to take.
She won favor from everyone who saw her because she was walking in God’s purpose for her life and His good hand was upon her.
Zeresh was the wife of Haman, a Jew hater who we are introduced to in the book of Esther. He was prime minister under King Ahasuerus (also called King Xerxes) and was one of Ahasuerus’ favorite officials. Ahasuerus often consulted him on matters concerning the governing of the kingdom of Persia. In Esther 3:1-2, we are told that Ahasuerus elevated Haman to a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles and commanded everyone to kneel down and pay honor to Haman.
After Ahasuerus deposed of his first beautiful wife, Vashti, he married another beautiful woman named Esther. Esther and her uncle Mordecai, who raised her, were Jewish, and this is where Haman’s real problem began. Even though Haman had been elevated to a high position in the kingdom, Mordecai refused to kneel down to him and refused to pay him any kind of honor. This made Haman furious. When he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he was not content to only destroy Mordecai. He wanted to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews.
What did Zeresh think of her husband’s violent hatred of Mordecai? What did she think of his plot to destroy the Jews? Did she support him or did she try to stop him? The Bible gives us some answers. Continue reading →
Focus Verse: Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful. (4)
Mordecai became famous and well-known throughout all the land because of the favor and the fear that God gave him in the sight of all people. Mordecai took Haman’s place, but he did not allow the power and prestige that came with that position to corrupt him.
Focus Verse: When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” (6)
It seems to me that Haman had a rather haughty, narcissistic personality. He was excessively concerned about himself. He constantly thought that everyone else was thinking about him too. Scripture warns us that when we exalt ourselves, we will be humbled. Only when we humble ourselves before God and others will we be exalted.
Focus Verse: Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. (13)
From Haman to Hitler, evil people have always tried to rid the earth of the people of God, yet none of them have been successful. No effort to exterminate the Jews will ever be successful. Perhaps the most frightening thing about Haman’s plot and Hitler’s plot, was that they were able to easily persuade a vast number of people to aid them in their evil. It is imperative that we think for ourselves. Laws must be examined critically before they are obeyed, and even those who are in positions of power must have their actions questioned.
Focus Verse: For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ (17)
How we conduct ourselves can influence how others conduct themselves. We ought to make sure our conduct is good so our influence will be positive.
We meet Vashti at the beginning of the book of Esther 1:8-20. She was the former Queen of Persia and the first wife of King Ahasuerus. Now it came to pass that King Ahasuerus threw a mega feast for all the men in his kingdom while Vashti threw another feast for the women. On the last day of feasting, Ahasuerus sent seven of his eunuchs to command Vashti to come to him so he could show her to the people for Vashti was very beautiful to look upon.
When God created woman, He made a very special creation. He made us beautiful and unique. He made us strong and resilient, gutsy and spirited, sassy and sweet. And He loves us. God really, really loves His girls. And the Bible is filled with many women – some good, some bad – all of who God made, who God loved, and who we can learn many lessons from.