We treasure security, even though we know that security in this life carries no guarantees -possession can be destroyed, beauty fades, relationships can be broken, death is inevitable. Real security, then, must be found beyond this life. Only when our security rests in God and his unchanging nature can we face the challenges that life is sure to bring our way.
Esther’s beauty and character won Xerxes’ heart, and he made her his queen. Even in her favoured position, however, she would risk her life if she attempted to see the king when he had not requested her presence. There was no guarantee that the king would even see her. Although she was queen, she was still not secure. But, cautiously and courageously, Esther decided to risk her life by approaching the king on behalf of her people.
She made her plans carefully. The Jews were asked to fast and pray with her before she went to the king. Then on the chosen day she went before him, and he did ask her to come forward and speak. But instead of issuing her request directly, she invited him and Haman to a banquet. He was astute enough to realise she had something on her mind, yet she conveyed the importance of the matter by insisting on a second banquet.
In the meantime, God was working behind the scenes. He caused Xerxes to read the historical records of the kingdom late one night, and the king discovered that Mordecai had once saved his life. Xerxes lost no time in honouring Mordecai for that act. During the second banquet, Esther told the king of Haman’s plot against the Jews, and Haman was doomed. There is grim justice n Haman’s death on the gallows he had built for Mordecai, and it seems fitting that the day on which the Jews were to be slaughtered became the day their enemies died. Esther’s risk confirmed that God was the source of her security.
How much of your security lies in your possessions, position, or reputation? God has not placed you in your present position for your own benefit. He put you there to serve him. As in Esther’s case, this may involve risking your security. Are you willing to let God be your ultimate security?
Strengths and accomplishments:
- Her beauty and character won the heart of Persia’s king
- She combined courage with careful planning
- She was open to advice and willing to act
- She was more concerned for others than for her own security
Lessons from her life:
- Serving God often demands that we risk our own security
- God has a purpose for the situations in which he places us
- Courage, while often vital, does not replace careful planning
- Where: Persian empire
- Occupation: Xerxes’ wife, queen of Persia
- Relatives: Cousin: Mordecai. Husband: Xerxes. Father: Abihail
Key verse: “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 maids 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” (Esther 4:16).
Esther’s story is told in the book of Esther.