This is a continuation of our Esther bible study – Chapter 8. This is the ninth installment on a bible study series on the book of Esther.
My prayer is that this study in God’s word with a once a week post would be an encouragement to you in your parenting, motherhood, and marriage. May you see God’s hand acting on behalf of Esther and may it provide fresh revelation as to how God is moving on your behalf this week.
In last week’s study Esther revealed the wicked plot of Haman. Once the king realized that Haman was an enemy to the king and queen he had Haman hanged from the gallows that had been constructed for Moredcai. Even though Haman had been eliminated as a threat to the Jews, the Jews were still scheduled for extermination from the kingdom of Persia. Esther knew something had to be done to save her people and she appealed to the king and his ability to take action to help save them.
Esther 8:3-6,New International Version (NIV)
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”…
11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies.
Something I had not noticed before today in reading these verses is that Esther again “goes before the King” in such a way as to require that he again extend the golden scepter to her. The detail included here is a reminder of the protocol and pressure Esther was under in even being able to talk to her husband. Even as his wife and queen she was continually humbled and reminded that he was the King.
Once Xerxes extends the scepter, Esther appeals to the King on behalf of her people, her family. Her life had already been saved but she humbly goes before the king again to appeal the horrible edict enacted by Haman that would lead to the destruction of the entire Jewish people. Even though Xerxes was just as guilty for his thoughtless agreement to exterminate the Jews, again Esther gives her husband the benefit of the doubt and places all the blame on Haman. As wives, we can learn from this exchange, whenever possible, we need to grant our husbands the benefit of the doubt before making our requests.
As a mom this reminds me to be mindful of how I communicate with my husband in front of our children. If we want respectful children we need to model respect. If we want our children to treat their father as the head of the household, we need to model that for them. And vice versa, husbands need to show respect to their wives if they want children to do the same. If your husband is disrespectful in front of your children, seek the Lord and follow the pattern of Esther. If necessary, fast and pray until the Lord leads you to the proper time and place to make your requests known to your husband for better modeling of respectful behavior in front of your children.
Xerxes honors his wife’s requests and issues a decree allowing the Jews to assemble and protect themselves. According to Persian law he could not undo his previous order but he could permit them to take action in their own defense.
We live in a fallen world and hence we suffer the consequences of the decisions made by those around us. But we can choose to follow the righteous path by choosing to worship and follow the only King who truly cares for us, our heavenly Father. As a mom I am reminded that I need to model what it is to walk out my Christian faith despite being surrounded by a culture that would seek to eradicate and remove Christians and Christian values from the way we live. Like Esther, we need to stand firm in our faith at the risk of our own well-being in order to ensure that our Christian vales and faith lives on in future generations.
I pray the Lord’s leading and guiding hand over my family and yours this week. May you find joy in His presence.
In His Grip,
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Images are from the movie “One Night with the King”. The movie plays out in elaborate detail the drama of the story of Esther. It’s fun to watch and a great catalyst for discussing the story of Esther.
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