One of my favorite Bible stories is of a common Jewish woman who found her niche in history by simply being herself. Queen Esther’s quiet spirit of obedience gave her favor with God and man. God used her to save her condemned people because she found favor with the king.
Esther was lovely, but so were the other virgins brought to the palace by King Ahasuerus of Shushan. He was replacing his wife Queen Vashti, who had refused to let him flaunt her beauty to his court and visitors. The King’s counselors warned him that she set a poor example for all wives in the kingdom and advised him to dispose of her.
Every compelling story has a villain. Our rogue’s name is Haman. The King promoted Haman above all the other princes, second only to himself. Haman advised the king to enter a decree that at a certain time all Jews in the nation were to be killed. This is because they followed their own laws and refused to bow down and worship him as the King’s most powerful ruler. The king made the proclamation, although he had no inkling that his beloved Esther was a Jew. She had kept this to herself.
Her uncle, Mordecai sent word to her of this plan and told to make a plea to the king for the sake of her nation. She sent word to Mordecai that, “All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces know, that whoever, whether man or woman, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except him to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live: but I have not been called to come into the king these thirty days.” (Esther 4:11, Webster Ed.)
Mordecai responded, “Do not think within yourself that you shall escape in the king's house more than all the Jews. For if you are completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house shall be destroyed. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13, 14 NKJV) Mordecai did not waste these words on Queen Esther. Through fasting, prayers, and God’s grace, she found favor when she entered the king’s presence, and ultimately saved her people.
Esther was a woman of destiny. Like you and I, she was God’s woman for her time. The same can be said when God asks any of us to do something for Him. We can let fear cause us to miss an opportunity to serve our generation. Or, we can beat back our fear, grab hold of our destiny, and change our world in the New Year ahead. I vote to make a difference in 2010. How about you?
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.