Oh friends, we are winding down our study and what an amazing 8 weeks it has been! The study of Esther has spoken to me in ways I wasn’t expecting! Encouraging me, inspiring me and strengthening me as I look to my future and what lies ahead. I pray the Esther study has done the same for you!
(If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.)
Have you ever been in a situation or relationship that seemed hopeless? Maybe you’ve had someone in your life devise an evil plan to hurt you or those you love, and not even a ray of hope can be found in it?
Reading through Esther these past eight weeks and studying her marriage to King Xerxes, I would say the king lived his life detached from his wife, at best. Esther may have been an orphan girl turned queen, but her marriage to King Xerxes was no fairy tale.
He was a man who seemed to possibly have a drinking problem. Think back on how many events from our story center around banquets and wine.
He was a man who was easily angered. Who reacted first and thought later.
We know he was not a good judge of character. He surrounded himself with unwise counsel, whether it was Haman or his board of advisors. Need an example? Think back at the advice his men gave him when dealing with Queen Vashti.
If that wasn’t enough, it appears Queen Esther’s marriage to King Xerxes had cooled, since the king had gone 30 days without requesting to see her. Think about that for just a moment. 30 days without having any sort of contact with your husband… a woman could begin to feel as though she was forgotten, not needed… unloved.
To top it all off, Esther then has to muster enough courage to be the one who approaches her husband…to the point of risking her own life for her people, and at the encouragement of the only man who has truly loved her, her cousin and adopted father figure Mordecai.
I say all this just because my heart hurts for her.
As a woman.
As a wife.
She must have wondered at times if King Xerxes really was who she was supposed to be married to. Though her life looked glamorous from the outside, inside the palace walls it was far from a fairytale.
You can almost sense the heartache Esther was feeling in chapter 8 as she falls to her husband’s feet, weeping and pleading with him to stop the evil plan – which, may I remind you, he and his buddy Haman, “devised against the Jews.”
In his defense, the king seems almost shocked at his wife’s response to him. From his perspective, he had given her everything she wanted. Haman was dead and his estate was given to her, which she, in turn, gave to Mordecai. What more did she want?
But that wasn’t enough.
Because he really didn’t understand what she was truly after.
This wasn’t really about her… but about THEM.
The king didn’t seem to comprehend the threat of disaster that was looming over Esther and her people, even after Haman was dead. The evil edict was still in place, and something needed to be done about it. It’s as though the light bulb goes off and King Xerxes finally sees the severity of the plan he and Haman put into action.
And then something happens: a ray of hope shines on the situation.
King Xerxes begins to understand the seriousness of the situation, and his heart turns toward his wife and her people.
What was once hopeless is no longer.
God is at work and deliverance is on the horizon.
Now instead of being divided on this issue, they are united.
Though the previous law cannot be stopped, King Xerxes gives Esther and Mordecai the power to write another edict, allowing the Jews to defend themselves on the day planned for their annihilation!
Have you ever been in a situation that seemed hopeless? If so, be encouraged today that God, in His timing, can change the situation. He brought hope and deliverance to Esther, Mordecai and all Jews living under King Xerxes’s reign! He did it then, and He can do it again!
What was once a hopeless situation can be changed to a hope filled situation when God works through His people!
Let’s Talk: Have you ever went through a situation in your life where you felt hopeless? If so, how did God work in your life to move you from hopeless to hope filled?
Love God Greatly!
Week 8: Reading Plan
Week 8: Memory Verse
Week 8: Challenge