“Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Aaiter and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said, ‘If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?’ Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, ‘Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.'” Ester 8:3-8 ESV
Esther was an ordinary woman placed by God’s sovereign hand at the right time and place for an extraordinary act of faith. In the previous chapters, we saw how God gave Esther and her uncle Mordecai favor before the king to place them both in high positions in the palace. Even at that time, God had been preparing them for greater acts of courage to come when their lives and those of the entire Jews nation would be on the line. God was taking their little faith and growing it to accomplish an extraordinary act of deliverance for all mankind in preserving the seed from which Messiah would come to deliver once and for all from the curse of sin and death.
The book of Esther is a controversial book for several reasons. One is that God’s name is not explicitly mentioned in the entire book. However, as the story unfolds we clearly see God’s saving gracious character displayed through the ordained circumstances He brought about, and the faith-fueled actions of His people. When Esther found out that the evil official Hamman deceitfully plotted to annihilate her people, she had a choice to sit idly by or to risk her neck for them. Mordecai warned her that she is not safe merely for being queen, as Vashti’s absence would testify. If she chose not to act, God would still save His people based on His faithfulness. Here was one women’s chance to be graciously used by Him to bring about His good purposes even in the midst of devastating oppression and evil. “Here is a woman who had not only high courage but sincere faith and a devotion to the cause of her people. Also she had exhibited real loyalty in her co-operation with her cousin Mordecai, who had reared her and was largely responsible for the fact that she now sat on the throne of Persia. The king’s affection she seems also to have won wholeheartedly.” (Edith Deen. All the Women of the Bible,149).
We see God’s saving power in giving Esther favor with the king and working in his heart so that he would desire to recognize Mordecai at precisely the time that Hamman was about to kill him. This story ends with the triumph not of Esther but of her mighty God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If we take refuge in Christ, He will act on our behalf and deliver us.
Father God, we praise you for your power to save and deliver your people! Thank you for the testimony of the faith of Esther and Mordecai that may have started of mustard seed size but was solid and able to move mountains of adversity. May you grow our faith lived out in acts of obedience and courage when times get tough that Your name be further proclaimed and glorified.