Recently, I re-read the book of Esther, as part of a YouVersion Bible App reading plan created by the Bible Project. If you’ve not checked out YouVersion or the Bible Project, I highly recommend them both.
I read the Bible multiple times a day, and YouVersion makes it so easy by being right there on my iPhone – in just about any common translation and many uncommon ones as well. I read during my early morning quiet time and also during lunch with my true love. No more lunches alone.
The phone also makes it easy to read a chapter or two of His Word when I have a spare few minutes throughout my day. It is a way to stay focused on what is truly important in life.
The Bible Project is a series of videos explaining different aspects of the Bible, most notably how all of it ties together. As with any non-Biblical source, it is always good to true back against the actual Bible on your own. While I sometimes disagree with the Bible Project on small details, it is nevertheless an excellent supplemental source of understanding.
This is the third or fourth time I’ve read Esther since I was saved last year. It is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament.
I love Esther’s story. An orphaned Jewish girl has an unlikely rise to become Queen of Persia. Later, she is debating with Mordecai, her older cousin who raised her after the death of her parents, as to whether she should risk death by pleading uninvited to the King to save the Jewish people. This results in my favorite passage from the book:
“Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: ‘Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?'”
In Genesis, Joseph makes a similar observation in reflecting on the touch of God in his life:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
Have you ever wondered why you are where you are in your life? Why you work where you work? Why you live where you live? The reason God puts us in certain places or situations may not always be obvious at first, if ever.
What we have to remember at all times is that there is a plan. God cherishes you, as He cherishes all of us. God has a mission for you. Listen for it.
As for Queen Esther, she rose to the challenge:
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.'”
Note the fast, a critical decision by Queen Esther to put her fate in the hands of God and to recruit others to her cause. Jesus later spoke of the power of small groups:
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
The Queen goes on to use cunning and bravery to save the Jewish people from what could have been a massacre.
God may want you at a certain place to fulfill a purpose. That purpose may have nothing to do with your day-to-day work duties, either. Maybe your kind words and smile are enough to help a tortured soul. You may never know the impact your light has on someone. Know through Him that your smile, your words, can and do make a difference.
And when you face a decision either to light the way as a follower of Jesus or to slip away in fear of the darkness, be strong like Queen Esther. Light the way.
“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6
Thank you for reading. May Jesus bless you.