QUEEN ESTHER

Woman Of Courage - Part I

Vashti, queen of Persia, was the most powerful woman in the Middle East, yet her power was as fragile as a candle in a storm. Her husband, Xerxes, (pronounced 'zur-zees') had just summoned her to appear before a festive gathering of his nobles. Vashti, however, had no intention of parading herself like a prized cow in front of a herd of drunken men, and she refused. What should be done to punish her insolence? One of the Kings' counselors spoke for all: "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the King but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the Queens' conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise (have no respect) for their husbands and say, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come'. There will be no end of disrespect and discord".

So poor Vashti bore the brunt of every man's fears. She who had refused the royal summons was forever banished from the royal presence, and a great domestic uprising was stopped before it even began.

After a while, a search was conducted for a new queen to replace Vashti. Many Jews were living in Persia at the time. Exiled from Judah a hundred years earlier (After Jerusalem's fall in 587 B.C), they had been brought to Babylon, which in turn was conquered by Persia. Mordecai and his orphaned cousin Esther were among those living in exile, 650 miles northeast of Jerusalem.

Like many other young virgins, the beautiful Esther was gathered into the King's harem. To refuse the privilege may well have meant her death. Counseled by Mordecai to keep her Jewish origins a secret, she spent the next twelve months awaiting her tryout with the King. When the moment came, Esther so pleased Xerxes that she became queen in Vashti's place. Some time later, an Amalekite named Haman rose to power in Persia. Haman was so highly placed that other officials knelt before him as a sign of respect. One man, however, the Jew Mordecai, refused to kneel. Haman became angry that he decided to eliminate every Jew in the Kingdom.

To choose the best time to destroy them, Haman consulted his gods by casting lots. A date eleven months into the future was revealed. Haman immediately persuaded King Xerxes to issue a decree that all the Jews in his realm were to be slaughtered on that day. By way of incentive, the decree proclaimed that anyone who killed a Jew could plunder his possessions. Mordecai reacted immediately by contacting Esther and asking her to beg King Xerxes for mercy. But Esther was afraid and replied, "For any man or woman who approaches the King in the inner court without being summoned the King has but one law: that they be put to death. The only exception to this is for the King to extend the gold scepter to him/her and spare his/her life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the King."

Mordecai replied, "Do not think that because you are in the King's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish." On the third day, Esther approached the King. As soon as King Xerxes saw her, he held out the golden scepter. "What is it, Queen Esther"? he asked. "What is your request? Even up to half the Kingdom, it will be given to you." But Esther merely invited the King and Haman to join her that evening for a banquet she had prepared especially for them. That evening the King again pressed her to ask for whatever she desired, but Esther simply invited the King and Haman to another banquet, to be held the following night. That evening, on his way home, Haman caught sight of Mordecai, sitting smugly rather than kneeling as he passed by. Haman was outraged, but his wife consoled him by proposing an evil scheme, he need merely build a gallows and then ask the King to hang Mordecai on it the next morning.

The night before the banquet the King couldn't sleep. He told one of his servants to read to him the royal chronicles. The King's servant read allowed how Mordecai had averted the earlier plot to assassinate the King (Esther 6:1,2). Reminded of this event the King asked his servant, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this"? The servant responded that nothing had been done. This shocked the King. This oversight could forever tarnish the King's otherwise magnificent reign. The King asked if someone of high rank might be present in the court to help correct this oversight. The Kings' servants said that Haman had just entered the court. "Bring him in to me", said the King.


Check out Queen Esther part II.


Bottom two (2) pictures used with permission from:

http://www.theglorystory.com













































































































































































































































































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Comments 20 comments

LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

I love Esther. An example of a true heroine in the scriptures... in her one act she saved an entire nation - because of her integrity. This was true courage..

For truly this is the DAY... "for such a time IS this..." We are expected, to do what it is... that He has placed each of us, here to do.... now.

I look forward to the remainder of your story, with commentary; of which - only you can give.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you LdsNana-AskMormon for that gracious comment. And yes, there will be sufficient commentary on this courageous woman. Part II will be soon.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

I can't wait...

LdsNana-AskMormon


Wehzo 8 years ago

Part two of Queen Esther will be up today.


Iðunn 8 years ago

I love the story of Esther. Excellent hub, going on to part II


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you Idunn. Esther is such an intrigueing person isn't she?


Iðunn 8 years ago

she puts me in mind a bit of the rainmaker movie. a person has to do a thing the way a thing gets done. what cannot be done by force, can often be achieved with love and a belief in miracles. faith helps considerably, during the wait.

yes, esther was magnificent~


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Idunn for your valued perspective.


Esther Mbabazi 7 years ago

I love the story of Esther. When I am attacked by enemies, I refer my prayers to the book of Esther, when Haman had planned to kill the Jews and he, himself was hanged on the gallows he had made for others, and the Jews were protected to be slaughtered because Esther knew her God. I love the book.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Esther has reminded me of myself in so many ways and I love reading about her , thanks for sharing.:)


Wehzo 7 years ago

Thank you Esther Mbabazi and AEvans, for your testimony and contributions to this hub. May you always be blessed in all your endeavors.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Wehzo, I feel so blessed when I get blessings, that my spirit just gets so happy. God Bless and thank you.:)


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Esther is one of my favorite people. Her story I can read over and over. Thank you.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 7 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you AEvans and RGraf for you thoughtful contributions and personal testimonies.

God Bless you


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Thank you for a great hub - Esther and Ruth are two of my favourite Biblical 'heroines'.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 7 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

You are welcome Shalini Kagal. Thank you for visiting, and for your gracious comment.

God Bless


einron profile image

einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Esther is o great heroine in the Bible and one of the very few females characters mentioned. Yet God chose her for rescuing the Israelites and she is remembered forever. God bless.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 7 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Hello einron, thank you for your gracious comments.


calliopegirl88 6 years ago

This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. One day I hope to have the faith and patience that Esther possessed. She was apparently beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 6 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you calliopegirl88, for your gracious comment and contribution to this hub.

God Bless

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