“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
While Israel was living under a foreign, shallow king, God raised up a courageous and competent queen. Esther’s story has a sort of fairytale, rags-to-riches beginning. She’s a poor orphan who goes to live in the palace and eventually becomes a queen. But the romantic facade of this story hides a nightmarish reality.
Esther is taken to the palace and subjected to a cruel process. She is more a trafficked slave than an eager contestant in a beauty pageant. She is made into the trophy wife of a foolish king. She is, initially, silent and subservient to this process. Is this what is in store for God’s people—going along silently with the ways of a sinful world?
But when evil rears its head and Esther learns about it, she finds her voice. A plot to kill all the Jews in the kingdom comes to light, and Esther, a Jew, rises to the occasion. She courageously goes to the king even though it could cost her life. And she cleverly orchestrates a turn of events that saves the lives of many of God’s people. The Lord God is the true King. He has been raising Esther to her position “for such a time as this.” In the Bible’s many stories of kings, the story of this queen stands out. She risks everything for the sake of her people. And in doing that, she foreshadows the loving kingship and sacrifice of Christ.
Jesus, thank you for laying down your life for ours. Embolden us with the Holy Spirit so that we may have Esther-like courage and love to serve you. Amen.
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