About Jill Eileen Smith
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a King and the nonfiction book When Life Doesnt Match Your Dreams.
Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.
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Problems Work Out For The Good
When we donât see problems as creating opportunities we can miss out on their hidden blessings. As stated, Vashtiâs disobedience opened the door for Esther to be Queen. Later in the book of Esther, the Jews were at risk of being killed and while trying to convince Esther to act, Mordecai told her âwho knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?â .
At the time, they couldnât foresee how Esther would play a role in saving the Jews. Who knows, Mordecai might have been resistant to the idea that Esther was selected along with the other women. Esther 2:11 shows his concern saying âevery day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to herâ .
Romans 8:28 says âAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposeâ . While anyone can see the bright side of problems if they search, we believers especially should look forward to it knowing that everything works out for the good for us. The problem that led to Esther becoming Queen is one of many examples of it we can learn from.
Characteristics Of Esther In The Bible For Life And Leadership
All of the qualities we will look at are awesome to have and developed. But I want to also point out that these are also leadership qualities. So, if you are in a position of authority or leadership take special note of how these characteristics play an important role in leading others.
You are Esther now, a Persian star, and you will shine like the dawn in the kings palace.
Jill Eileen Smith, Star of Persia: Esthers Story
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Pray For Having The Virtue Of Esther: Listening
Again Esther 2:12 and Esther 2:15 are have great implications for us.
Esther 2:12: Before a young womans turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
Esther 2:15: She requested nothing but what Hegai the kings eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
It is similar to point 2 on this post: following the Holy Spirits guide in your life.
Except on this point its important to emphasize what enabled the beloved Esther to follow what God wanted for her to do.
She had the virtue of listening.
Something a lot of us could work on.
We must pray everyday not only for being able to listen better to God, but have the humility of Esther, the humility to listen.
God Is Able To Bring Great Favor And Blessing On Our Lives Even In Hard Places
And often when He does, we will be certain to feel animosity from others. If were living like salt and light in a dark world, we can be assured there will be attacks against us. We will face struggles and battles that sometimes we didnt see coming. But in it all, theres this amazing protection and covering of Gods favor and blessing over our lives. So strong that the darkness cant penetrate.
From the moment Esther was in the Kings palace, she was given protection and favor. The Bible even says that she won the favor of all those she was around, and God blessed her greatly, allowing her to be made queen. Thats important because without great favor from the King, Esther could have been put to death simply for asking to come into his presence without being asked.
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the kings hallWhen he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, What is it Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you, Esther 5:1-3.
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Queen Esther The Backstory
First, in this Bible study, we need to delve into what led Esther to the palace to begin with. So lets first look the story of Esther before she became queen!
In the 3rd year of the reign of King Ahasuerus , the king made a feast for himself, his officials, servants, nobles. The king reigned over 27 provinces in the Persian Empire so you can only imagine how elaborate this feast was.
He had spent 128 days showing off his kingdom and then held the feast!
He went all out the finest furnishings, wine served in golden cups where no two were alike!
God At Work Behind The Scenes
A prominent display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., lists the names of thousands of individuals who risked their lives to protect and rescue Jewish people during World War II. How many of these people were inspired by a woman who risked her life to save her people nearly 2,500 years ago?
Esther, also called Hadassah, was separated from her family and friends only to become the queen of her pagan adopted country. She accepted Gods difficult and dangerous plan for her life, thus fulfilling a purpose she could little fathom beforehand saving the entire Jewish population from annihilation.
Esther made the choice to act in the difficult place God put her. She even risked her life to plead with the king for her people. As queen, it would seem natural that Esther would have the clout to enter the kings throne room uninvited. But that wasnt the case during the reign of the kings of Persia and Media. Esther very easily could have met the sword. Esther faced her fear with the prayers of others and the conviction that God indeed is sovereign no matter what the outcome.
Esther couldnt see Gods authority and power, but He clearly was at work behind the scenes. The very structure of her story reveals this. Although this story does not contain any obvious references to the Lords name, readers of Hebrew can easily spot the letters YHWH the Lords sacred covenantal name repeated four times in the original text.
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Esther Learns Of Hamans Plot
Mordecai learns of this decree and he tears his clothes and puts on sackcloth and ashes, a sign of deep mourning or sorrow as well as an act of humility and repentance before God, and then he goes out into the city.
News reached Esther of her cousin so she sent clothes to Mordecai to remove his sackcloth but he refused to accept the clothing.
Esther sends one of the kings eunuchs to find out what was happening and why Mordecai was in sackcloth and ashes.
Mordecai tells the eunuch of the plot and gives him a copy of the decree. He asked for Esther to go in to the king to plead for the life of her people.
But Esther sent a message to Mordecai to remind him that anyone who goes to the inner court of the king without being summoned was to be put to death. What good would she be to her people if she was put to death for even approaching the king without being called?
Traps Set Against You
As a believer, setting traps for people is something you shouldnât and hopefully donât do. On the other hand, this lesson gives us the peace of mind that if there ever happens to be someone out there setting up a trap for us, it will work against them.
Esther Chapter 9
In the Book of Esther chapter 9, the Jews overcame their enemies and Purim, a jewish custom, was established. The life lesson Iâll share from this chapter is simply donât forget where you came from.
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Book Of Esther Summary
Heres an overview of the book of Esther, featuring the main idea and its explanation, the purpose and main themes of the book, and a section on what it means to us, along with some study questions.
God works behind the scenes through Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai to save the Jews, who are on the verge of total extermination.
Explanation of Main Idea
The Persian king, Ahasuerus, selects Esther, a Jew, to be queen, after he becomes displeased with his current wife, Queen Vashti. Mordecai, who has been like a father to Esther, overhears a plot to assassinate the king and duly reports it to Queen Esther, thus saving the kings life . This event is recorded in the Historical Record in the kings presence .
King Ahasuerus promotes Haman, an Agagite, to the highest position in his royal staff and commands everyone to bow down to him and pay him homage, which Mordecai refuses to do . This enrages Haman and he plans to eradicate not just Mordecai, but all of Mordecais same ethnic group, the Jews, that reside in the kingdom . An edict was issued and this new genocidal law was announced throughout the kingdom .
Esther reveals Hamans plot to the king. Enraged, the king has Haman killed and Mordecai is promoted as his replacement . A new law is passed enabling the Jews to defend themselves and consequently, they are spared from annihilation .
1. God works behind the scenes.
2. All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.
Who Is Esther In The Bible
She was a Jewish woman and Esthers Hebrew name was Hadassah, so you may at times hear her referred to by that name, which means Myrtle tree. Esther was the cousin of a man named Mordecai who lived in Shushan.
Esther had lived with her cousin Mordecai since she was a little girl due to her having been orphaned. The Bible doesnt give us much more information about Esthers past than that. It was with Esthers future that the Word concerns itself.
Esther was one of the women chosen to be taken and placed in the care of one of the eunuchs who was in charge of all the women. Mordecai had warned Esther not to reveal that she was a Jew. He knew it would not bode well for her if it was known she was a Jew.
It was as though Mordecai knew having a Jewish queen in place would be for such a time as this just when the Jewish people needed her most. His wisdom proved to be what saved the Jewish people ultimately.
She became a favorite of Hegai the eunuch so he ensured she received the finest treatment, including beauty treatments beyond what the others received. God had bestowed favor on Esther.
She finally appears before the king who loved her above the others and he crowns Esther queen. Esthers beauty and her demeanor had won the king over.
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Things Kids Can Learn From Esther
The birth announcement that I received in the mail stated the precious girls name was Hadassah. Flipping through my mental rolodex of names to search for a match, I came up empty. I was surprised to learn that Hadassah was actually a Biblical name Esthers birth name, to be exact.
With my several-times-a-week as a child church attendance, you would have thought this name would have rung a bell, but for some reason my Sunday School classes didnt include Esther in the Old Testament rotation. Maybe because some of the plot is for a mature audience. Maybe because it isnt considered one of the greats alongside Noah, Moses, and Jonah. But in skipping this short book, I feel I missed out on learning some amazing biblical truths points that I desire our children to learn as we study this book together.
1. Gods Plan for You Doesnt Surprise HimProverbs 16:9 says, The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. A couple of chapters later in 19:21, Proverbs reiterates, Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
I have no doubt that Esthers plans for her life didnt include her parents early deaths, being taken to the live in the kings palace, and being married to a prideful king. To top that off, Esther never dreamed of a situation where she would have to choose between her own life and standing up for the lives of her people, the Jews.
If You Dont Act For The Lord He Will Use Another
Esther 4:13: And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the kings palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place,
Lets take a look at those incredible words. If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.
This passage depicts to us: if you dont do Gods beautiful and perfect will, then God will use another woman, man or any person to do it.
If that happens you could lose Gods blessings for your life, or even worse, who knows what the consequences could be?
Obey our beautiful Lord Jesus TODAY.
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Esther Was A Woman Of Courage
We see threads of courage throughout the life and story of Esther. There were multiple moments that required her to step out of her comfort zone and courageously trust God for His divine protection. The most courageous moment we see would be the moment that she stepped before the king. Even as queen, it was not legal for her to come before the king without a proper invite. The penalty for this was death. She did this at the risk of her own life.
Esther Became Queen Of Susa
Despite all of this, God remained with Esther and caused her to find favor with all who were associated with her.
And Esther was finding favor in the eyes of all who saw her. Esther 2:15
When it was her turn to go to the King, she found favor with him also.
The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal turban on her head and made her queen Esther 2:17
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Its Easy To Become Prideful
In life, itâs easy to become prideful. We may start off as humble people and get promoted through life because of our humility. However, as we achieve more and more it can get to our heads. As we see with Haman and as Proverbs say, pride comes before the fall. So keep this lesson in mind and remain humble as you elevate in life.
Esther Chapter 7
In The Book of Esther chapter 7, Haman is killed. The way he is killed teaches the life lesson that youâll get caught in the traps you set.
God Has A Plan Esther : 14
Mordecai says in Esther 4:14, For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your fathers family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Mordecai is reinforcing the meaning for Esthers existence. God has love for the Jewish people and didnt create beauty and subtlety only for Esther His creation and work was for all people. However, Mordecai is saying that God has a divine plan for everyone and everything. Therefore, He believes Esther was placed into a royal position in order to assist the delivery of Gods work.
Despite the death of Esthers parents, God used Esther because He knew that she could facilitate greatness and present an understanding to other Jews. Oftentimes we face obstacles and difficult times that cause our lives to be tumultuous. However, we must always remember that God has a bigger plan of action and everything truly happens for a reason. Without Gods obstacles and challenges we must realize that we wouldnt grow into being the people we were meant to be. No matter how devastating a situation may be or the feelings of brokenness that we feel, we as Gods children must have confidence that we will prevail. Know that we will prevail because you are a creation of God. He has provided all of his children the means to overcome anything that occurs. Always remember God has a divine plan!
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God Will Give You More Abundantly Than You Can Think Or Imagine
Esther 5:3: And the king said to her, What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to youup to half the kingdom!
This event in the book of Esther is an amazing symbol of how our beautiful God will do things for us, and how He will give us more than we even ask.
Esther went, risking her life and didnt know what was going to happen to her but God made the king give her so much more: Even up to half the kingdom!
This is so breathtakingly beautiful in the book of Esther. Thats why Ephesians 3:20 confirms:
Ephesians 3:20: Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
God will always give you more than you think of, or imagine. Just like He did for the Esther, He will do so for you too.