March 20, 2022
Esther 2:2-18; 3:8-13; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:1-10; 8:5-12
The search began for a queen for King Ahasuerus. Many young women from around the kingdom were brought to the palace. One of them was a beautiful young Jewish woman named Esther. Esther had been raised by her relative Mordecai after her parents died. Mordecai ordered Esther not to tell anyone she was a Jew. When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, he chose her to be the queen. Haman was one of the king’s officials. He complained to the king about the Jews. Haman had an evil plan that would destroy all of the Jews. The king approved the plan. Soon a written order was sent throughout the kingdom. It said that all of the Jews would be killed on a single day. When Mordecai heard of the evil plan, he asked Esther to help save her people. But Esther knew if she went to see the king without his invitation, she might be killed. She could only approach the king if he extended his gold scepter. Mordecai reminded Esther that she and her family would also be destroyed. Esther asked that all the Jews fast and pray for three days. She also fasted for three days as she prayed for guidance. On the third day, Esther dressed in her royal robes. When the king saw her, he extended the gold scepter. She approached the king. “I will give you whatever you want,” said the king. Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet she had prepared. At the feast, the king asked her again what she would ask for. She invited them to a banquet the next day. Then she would do what he had asked. The next day at Esther‘s banquet, she asked the king to spare the life of her and her people. She told the king about the evil plan to destroy the Jews. “Who’s plan is this?” asked the king. “Haman,” Esther said. Haman was terrified. The king was furious. He ordered Haman to be killed. Esther asked the king to stop the order that would destroy the Jews. A new order was written that gave Jews new rights. The new order would begin on the same day that Haman’s evil plan was to take place. The king honored and promoted Mordecai. The Jewish people celebrated all across the land.
Do you ever struggle when you are asked to make a decision? Some choices we are faced with are pretty simple. What do I want to eat for breakfast? What do I want to play outside? Should I do my homework? What flavor ice cream do I want? Other decisions we are asked to make are much harder. Even when we know what the best choice should be, making the right choice can be challenging. Should I stand up for someone who is being bullied at school? Will I tell others about Jesus even though they might make fun of me? Can I stand up for what I know is right when everyone around me is choosing to do wrong?
Esther found herself in a difficult situation. Even though she was the queen, approaching the king without being summoned was dangerous. It could even be deadly. Yet, she knew that in order to save her people, she had to make the right choice. Many prayed for her. God answered those prayers. Not only did He save Esther, God also saved the entire group of Jews from the wicked plots of Haman. Esther faced possible death, yet she trusted God more than herself. She took a stand for what was right, and she was rewarded for her faithfulness.
God is always trustworthy. Even when situations are challenging, God wants us to stand up for what is right. He never promised us that it would be easy, but God did promise He would always be with us. Because of this, we can know we are not alone when we choose to do what is right.
1. What did Mordecai ask Esther to do?
2. What happened at the banquets Esther held for the king and Haman?
3. How did Esther stand up for what is right?
Pray: God, it can be so hard to stand up for what is right, especially when I think about what others might think of me. Help me to always look to You when faced with decisions. Thank You for promising to always be with me. Thank You for helping me choose to do what is right, even when it is hard. Amen.
Pastor Hanna Ng