|On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So, Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter. Then the king asked her, “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”
— Esther 5:1-3 (NLT)
I love the account of Esther — an unexpected leader, brought from an unexpected place in society, who was brought to a position of high authority, and whose favor pardoned an entire people from genocide! Also, let’s not forget she was a woman AND a minority!
Perhaps, what I love most in this book is that the name of God is never mentioned, yet we see His unmistaken hand at work throughout its pages. We see His hand visibly present on Esther’s life in the way He orchestrated her family tree and how He carefully molded her and shaped her into a woman who would divinely win the favor of the most powerful man in Persia for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). We see how the Lord equipped her with mentors and friends who would coach her, pray for her, and come alongside her in her mission. Without these elements, would Esther have had the courage and strength to risk her own life, to speak up for the lives of her people (it was against the law for her to approach the king without first being summoned by him)? And we cannot neglect to note that God may have also been moving in the heart of Xerxes to pardon Esther and hear her request (Proverbs 21:1)!
As the story unfolds, we can see that from the beginning to the end, the pages of the Book of Esther drip of the evidence that God was at work and He had a plan — not just for Esther’s life, but for a people that God so desperately loves!
As you pause this week to reflect on God’s Word, may I remind you that God is at work and His heart is for all people — including you. You may not physically see all the moving pieces or necessarily feel His presence, but rest assured, God is at work. He is orchestrating all things to capture the hearts of those He loves. Be an instrument in the hands of our Faithful God, who works all things together for good (Romans 8:28) and all in His perfect timing.
Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness to us and for Your never-ending love. Forgive us for the times we arrogantly trust in our own flesh and fail to surrender to Your way and purpose. We thank You, Lord, that Your scepter is always offered to us and that we may approach You and make our requests known to You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who has made this possible. Amen.
Pastor Kristin Gentry