Esther (Esther 1-7)
Lord, I am so lonely.
Is it possible to be lonely when I am surrounded by people? I have so many blessings that others may be praying for. So why am I still lonely? I wish I had my mother or father here. I long to just sit next to them and hold their hands. I want to ask questions and have them tell me everything will be alright. But I will have to wait for heaven to do that.
People around me seem so busy and full of chatter. They laugh, whisper, and tell inside stories of the fun they had. I feel so left out.
I escape to my room, where I feel safe. I’m so grateful for my cousin Mordecai. He has taught me so much about you, Lord, and that is the most important thing. But he’s a guy! He listens, but he doesn’t always understand what it’s like to be me.
God, I long for someone to know me, really know me. To understand my silly sense of humor, to know the little things about me like how I like my fish cooked. I want them to know the deep dreams and longings of my heart, to see every part of my past and still think I am precious.
My husband, the king, knows me on the outside. He knows my body. But what about my soul? And when my beauty fades, will he still want to know me? Will he still talk to me because he finds my mind unique, interesting, or worth knowing?
Life is so different from how I ever planned it to be. I am always putting on a show and wearing a mask. There are parts to me I have to keep hidden. I can play the role, but I am longing for a friend inside.
The Lonely Queen
My Dear Esther,
I have seen your pain and isolation, and it is not as it should be. I know that loneliness is not a new emotion to you. Since you lost your parents, loneliness is your only familiar friend. That is not what I have intended for my sons and daughters. We are made to be in a relationship and companionship with one another.
The desires of your heart are pure and honest, for that is how I made you. Remember my provision to you. I provided a guardian for you when you became an orphan. I have put you in a place where you have influence and power over many people. I will give you the wisdom and courage to stand up for what you have been taught.
Trust me. Look back. I kept you safe during the king’s audition process. I am going to use this loneliness for good. What seems complicated now will produce something extraordinary. I will use you to be a savior of your people, as I am your Savior. I have positioned you for such a time as this: trust me. I will bring joy and peace to you and to those you love. I have a plan to save you. I love you.
Your Heavenly Father
(Genesis 2:18, Psalm 65:9, Philippians 1:27, Romans 8:28. 2 Corinthians 9:8)
1) God is never mentioned by name in the book of Esther, yet His hand and provision are all over the story. Where in your life do you see God alive and working during the silence?
2) God provided for Esther during times of loneliness and used her loneliness to save his people. How has God provided for you during a lonely season?
For how things turn out, read Esther 8 below. If you have time, read all 8 chapters of Esther. It is a page-turner and worth it to see God use a young woman to save his people.
Esther 8:1-15 (NIV)
The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.
Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.
The Triumph of the Jews
When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.