The book of Esther

 The book of Esther in the Bible is a beautiful account of one woman's courageous deeds. 

 The king, called Ahasuerus in the Bible, but his Greek name was Xerxes, was originally married to a woman named Vashti. Xerxes was hosting a seven day long feast to show off his kingdom to all the officials in Persia. He was most likely trying to convince these officials to go to battle with Him in Greece. Ever heard of the battle of Thermopylae? The king of Persia in that battle was the same Xerxes that Esther marries (pretty cool huh). So, he hosts this big feast and on the seventh day of the feast, while he is really drunk, he asks his wife Vashti to come dance for him and the other officials. Vashti says no, and the king banishes her. Between chapters one and two of the book of Esther, king Xerxes leads the Persian armies in many battles against Greece, including the battle of Thermopylae. When the king returns from battle and the calamity of war is no more, he realizes that he is wife-less. So, his servants suggest a beauty pageant (Christian mingle wasn't a thing yet). All the young virgins in Persia were taken to the king's palace to participate in this pageant. Esther was living in Persia with her cousin Mordecai (the Jews were semi-dispersed due to a recent captivity). She was taken to participate in this pageant. God used his sovereignty in conjunction with man's free will, and Esther won the pageant, becoming the wife of king Xerxes and the queen of Persia. She had a secret though, she was a Jew.

It didn't seem to matter that she was a Jew until her cousin, Mordecai, ticked off the king's newfound right hand man, Haman. Haman devised a plan to have all the Jews in Persia killed. He manipulated the king (who was clueless that his wife was a Jew) and was given authority to tell all the officials in Persia to kill all the Jews. When Mordecai got word of this, he implored Esther to talk to the king on behalf of the Jews. These are the words he spoke, "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. In our modern day this seems like a pretty easy thing to do. She just needed to sit down and have a chit chat with her hubby and let him know the situation and all would be well. Except it wasn't that easy. Absolutely no one appeared before the king unannounced. It was practically suicide. The only way you would survive a surprise visit to the throne room was if the king held out His golden scepter to you.

Esther knew she had to stand up for her people. She adorned herself with all of her prettiest accessories, and made her way to the throne room.

To see what happens, start reading in Esther chapter 5 of the Bible.


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