#3 of 5, In a series of Sunday Sermons. 12.11.21
#3 Esther – a Queen
She lived as an outsider, outcast, and in exile. She lived as an orhpan, her parents having been killed in one of the many battles for Jerusalem. Here she was without family or freedoms. How could she be in the right place and how could this be the right time?
Esther– beautiful, brazen abd blessed
Lovingly adopted by her cousin, he did his best to raise this beautiful, young lady as his very own daughter. But even then, she was taken captive by the kings servants who were seizing beautiful, young ladies for the king as he sought to find a new queen.
She, a young vigrin was seized, and taken along with hundreds of other young ladies, to the palace. Once again, she was alone, without family or freedom. Certainly there was nothing right about this time or place, she must have thought.
Without even her own approval, she was forced into a year long preparation period, so that she would be ready to be seen by the king. It was during this time that she found favor with her trainers. She found favor with her handlers. She found favor with the other ladies. Because she pleased them and won their favor, they advanced her and placed her in the “best place of the harem.”
Her beauty had made room for her and her graciousness had gained her favor. Could she be in the right palce at the right time?
Then her time came to come before the king and spend the night with him. Esther was fully aware what she was entering into, she had over a year to memtally, emotionally and spiritually prepare for her encounter with the king. But how could this sexual encounter be right? She was a young virgin, he an older man of means. Was she in the right place at the right time? How could anything about her rape be right?
We are told that the king “loved Esther more than all the other women.” Esther 2:17 So, did that now make it right? From that moment on, she won the grace and favor of the king, more than all the others, so he set the royal crown on her head and made her Queen.
There is much to question about the workings of God through unfortunate and abusive situations, and in many areas of Esther’s life, I find myself with such questions. But through it all, it remains abundantly clear that Esther always believed she was in the right place at the right time. As she wandered in exile, under the arm and care of her uncle, an orphan, captured by the kings men to be part of his harem. We never read of her fighting, kicking or rejecting what circumstances brought her way. And in fact, her uncle sought to teach her of Yahweh’s sovereignty, provision and blessing upon his people – the Jews.
She was goverened by a greater law than what was forced upon her. She was internally goverened by an absolute rest in God’s goodness and soverignity.
She knew she was in the palace, with the king right now, and right on time. Although, as of yet, she doesn’t know why.
Esther was brazen
As Queen, she now had the attention of everyone in the palace, most especially the King.
As events play out, an evil plan is hatched to have all the Jews in the empire killed, all the way from India to Ethiopia. As her uncle shares this with her, Esther is deeply distressed, for she is a Jew and no one in the palace knows it. How could this happen to her people? How could this be the right time?
At the bidding of her uncle she calls the Jews to a fast, to seek what ought to be done. The answer comes, and it involves her. Her uncle tells her,
” For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”Esther 4:14
The risk before Esther was approaching the King without being invited. For this was against the law and a possible death sentence should she be rejected and the golden scepter not be extended toward her. Her response to this risk,
…if I perish, I perish.”Esther 4:16
Esther was brazen. She was bold and without shame. She knew that she was in the right place at the right time. It was her time to speak up. Her time had come. THIS was the place.
Her faith and trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty paid off, for as she stood at the doorway of the court of the King, she won favor in his sight and he extended his scepter to allow her entrance.
As all wise women, she had a plan. She cunningly planned a series of banquets and invited the king and the one who plotted to kill the Jews to attend. Then at just the right time and in the right place, she reveals the plot to kill her people. She fell at the Kings feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan.
Esther was blessed
The King gave she and her uncle authority to write whatever legislation they needed and gave his signet ring to her uncle. It would then be published in all 127 provinces of the empire. She had his blessing in whatever they wrote and all that they needed.
It was then that the order was given that the Jews would be able to defend themselves when the death order was executed. Throughout the land, on the very day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to destroy them, the reverse occurred! The Jews gained mastery over those who hated them!
As they fought back a great victory and deliverance was won for the Jews.
To this day, the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim, the feast that commemorates Esther’s request and the Jews mighty deliverance. It is a yearly celebration with much joy, eating, drinking and costumes.
Esther was blessed with courage, favor and a strategy to save her people, and she is blessed today by the Jews.
But who could have imagined an orphan, living in exile, being raised by her uncle, and then captured by the government for the kings harem would be in the right place at the right time? Who could have imagined that this young Esther would become Queen of a powerful nation? Who could have imagined that she would thwart the death penalty unleashed on her people?
The journey that has brought you to where you are today may or may not be a pretty one. You may have experienced loss of family and freedoms. There may be other facets that you share with Esther too. But know this my friend, you too can begin to see and recognize the favor and grace of God on your life. You too can experience trust and confidence in God’s soverignity and rest in his goodness.
No matter your past, God sees you as His chosen one, his beloved, his Queen (or King). He has a plan for you, a time and a place for you to speak up. Stand up. Risk it all. He has groomed you for such a time. He is preparing you for such a time. He is arranging for you to be in just the right place to speak what is needed at just the right time.
You are beautiful in God’s eyes, and He has made you too, to be brazen, because He wants to bless you and those around you.
It is your time and place.
Check back next week at we study Daniel- a wiseman, who was Purposed, Prophetic and Powerful.
Go with God.