Greetings, my fellow Proverbs 31 women in progress!
Today, after some time where I lacked inspiration, I finally come back with a story for my Worthy Women Series.
I really thank you all for your kind support concerning Sarah’s story and I decided to continue with Esther, a woman of courage, strength, beauty and dignity. A walking Proverbs 31 woman we want to become!
The beautiful and regal Queen Esther
Esther is one of my favorite Biblical heroins ever. I just love her story, her character and her actions; as well as the fact that God can use anybody in the most unusual situations to save His people. Once you’ve read her story, I promised that you will also fall in love with Esther!
Here is Esther’s story.
Meaning: Hadassah means “myrtle”. Esther can mean “star”; but can also relate to Ishtar, the Assyrian/Babylonian goddess of love, sex, and fertility.
Husband: Persian King Ahasuerus
Relatives: Mordecai, her cousin who raised her as his daughter
Qualities: wise, elegant, courageous, and patriotic
The story begins at a sumptuous party that took place in the palace of the most powerful man in the world, Persian King Ahasuerus.
He threw a party for his court to show up his greatness, his magnificence and his riches; so that he could impress his court. His wife, Queen Vasthi, also organized a party for the women of the court in the palace.
At one point, the King, who was quite drunk, ordered his wife to come; so that he could show her exquisite beauty to his staff; but she refused to come.
As a consequence, King Ahasuerus was deeply angry, and on the advice of his counsellors who feared that Queen Vasthi would set a bad example of disobedience and rebellion to other women, he banished her from his life. After some time has passed, King Ahasuerus published an edit to find a new queen among the young girls of his empire .
Hadassah/Esther was among the girls who were taken to the palace when this edit was published. She was an orphan since her early childhood but was raised by Mordecai, her first cousin, who held administrative functions at the court of King Ahasuerus.
She was very beautiful. When she arrived in the palace, she immediately pleased the chief eunuch of the king’s harem; as well as everyone whom she encountered.
After a year of intense grooming and training, the girls were taken before the King, where he entertained them (think of a job interview!). Esther surpassed all her rivals and she became queen after a very hard selection process, in which our current beauty pageants would be considered as holidays!
Once she became queen, she never forgot where she came from. She still listened carefully to Mordecai’s advice; especially concerning the concealment of her Jewish origins. She scrupulously obeyed her cousin, that she considered as her father.
Sometimes after his wedding, King Ahasuerus decided to appoint Haman, an Agaguite, as his Prime Minister. Haman was very arrogant and full of himself.
When he saw that Mordecai never bowed down before him whereas everyone did so, he became very angry and decided to exterminate all the Jewish race from the earth.
He started to plot against the Jews with his wife and friends. He even built gallows where Mordecai had to be hung!
His plotting was successful at the beginning, since he managed to convince the King that the Jewish race wanted to harm the King and acted against his interests. The King, trusting his Prime Minister, gave him his ring and accepted the publication of a royal edit ordering the extermination of the Jewish people.
When the Jewish people heard that, they became desolated and sorrowful. Mordecai arrived to the palace as if he were grieving. He asked for Esther’s help. She refused at first, saying that the King would surely killed her if she comes into his presence without being invited.
He then told her if she refused, God would use someone else and added that she must have been appointed queen for a moment of that kind. When Esther heard that, she decided to accept.
She then ordered to the Jewish people to fast during three days, and that she would also fast and pray during those three days.
After the three days passed, she put on her royal garments and went to the King. King Ahasuerus was moved by her beauty and saved her life; though she came in his presence without being invited. He then asked her what she wanted.
She told him that she invited him at a banquet she made in his honor and that Haman was also invited.
Haman, being full of himself, thought that his social climbing was reaching a superior level as he was invited by Queen Esther. He bragged about it to his wife and friends.
During the banquet, the King asked her what she wanted. She asked him to come back to another banquet the day after with Haman; so that she would tell him her desire.
The day after, when the King asked her again what she wanted, she revealed her Jeish identity and declared that she wanted the King to save her life and her people from Haman’s actions. The King became angry and got out of the room to calm down.
Meanwhile, Haman, seeing that his life and position were in jeopardy, started to beg Queen Esther and to kiss her feet. When the King came Inside and saw what Haman did, he thought that Haman was trying to rape the Queen and became angrier than ever.
Then God’s justice applied: Haman was sentenced to death and hung on the very gallows he built for Mordecai, his estate was given to Queen Esther, God’s people were given their revenge, and Mordecai replaced Haman became Prime Minister.
That’s what I call a happy ending, on God’s terms!
- Queen Esther’s life is the prototype of Cinderella: she was a young orphan and became a powerful queen; even if she wasn’t intended to have this position at the beginning of her life
- Haman reminds me of Hitler – does anybody agree?
- Queen Esther and the prophet Daniel have things in common: they were wise, they represent the behaviour that God’s people should have in hostile circumstances, and they were also given names that referred to heathen gods by the foreign powers which were ruling over the Jews
- The Book of Esther is the only Book in the bible where God does not speak and act directly; but you feel that He is in control of everything in the proceedings of the events
- Esther inspired many people in drama, especially a French author called Racine in the 17th century. He composed a play called Esther at the request of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s last maitresse-en-titre and secret wife, for the girls of Saint-Cyr, an innovative boarding school dedicated to the education of poor aristocratic young girls. The theme of Esther was chosen as a clear reference to her humble beginnings and her irresistible social ascension, up to the King’s heart and bed.
What we can learn from Esther
- Your destiny is in God’s hands: whatever happens, your destiny will surely be accomplished if God wants to use you; even if you don’t think that you have the perfect profile to get there. Look at Esther: she was a poor orphan who became the Queen of the most powerful King of his time.
- God is always caring for His people. ALWAYS!
- Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights! Don’t be afraid to be the advocate of a just cause!
- Fasting and prayer are very important in our spiritual discipline to become and live victorious in Christ. When you face a serious and stressful situation, don’t panic! Pray and fast. God will answer faster than you think.
- Esther is a very wise woman who thinks twice before she speaks and before she acts. Not only does she look for God first before she acts, but she didn’t spill the beans directly when the King asked her about her desire. She patiently waited for the appropriate time to express her request.
- Esther embodies physical and moral elegance. She encourages us to look for elegance in everything we do. First, have an elegant mind because it will reflect on the outside. Then, put on your royal garments! Don’t forget that the Proverbs 31 woman is dressed with purple and fine linen!
Book of Esther
Charles Swindoll, Esther: A woman of Strength and Dignity
J. Baumgardner, Esther Queen of Persia: A Courageous Woman for a Dangerous Time
Do you agree with Esther’s life lessons? Please share!