I think one of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Queen Esther. There are so many different lessons that can be learned from the this ten chapter book in the Bible. In Sunday School, we just began a study of Esther, and I was reminded of all the reasons I love this story.
Do you remember how Esther became queen? There was a queen at the time, Queen Vashti. Her husband, King Xerxes, was throwing the party of all parties. It lasted 180 days, and I imagine it was a bigger deal than these "My Super Sweet 16" parties are today. One day, the King was in good spirits from the wine. (Also known as drunk, trashed, wasted, you get the picture.) Well, in his "high spirits" he called for the queen to come out so he could show her off. And guess what she said. "No!" She was not going to go out into the party and be paraded around like some kind of trophy. Some people might think of her as a bad queen for not listening to the king, but I think it was a little different than that. It seems like she had some self-respect and was not going to make poor decisions. Besides, God obviously had other plans.
Because of her actions, Queen Vashti had her crown taken away. Now the King was in a dilemma. He needed a new queen. So what did he do? He collected all the pretty girls from the country so he could go through them and pick a wife. Among all the women that had been collected was Esther. Esther was a Jew who had been raised by her cousin, Mordecai. When the King saw Esther he was very pleased, so he placed the crown on her head, and just like that she was queen.
Long story short, Mordecai warned Esther of a plot he overheard to kill the King. King Xerxes was saved and Mordecai was honored. Then Haman came along, got jealous and angry, and figured the best solution would be to wipe out all the Jews. Esther is not going to let this happen so tells her people to pray, then she had the King and Haman over for dinner, twice. Finally she tells the King that she wants her life and the lives of her people to be spared. The King listens to Esther and wants to know who would hurt her and her people. The finger is pointed at Haman and he soon becomes Hangman.
Imagine how much courage it took to stand before the King and make her request known. But she knew she had God on her side and with that, she was able to save her people. A very interesting fact though, God's name is never printed in the book of Esther. I believe it was written in invisible ink, because even though we never see the letters spelled out, God is very much present. He was the master of the story all along, from Queen Vashti being kicked out, to Esther pleading for her life and saving a nation. God used unexpected people to accomplish His mission. What a challenge! God is still present today and He is looking for people to carry out His tasks.
Once again, I am blown away by God's perfect plan, and who and what He uses to get the job done.