ESTHER. Her Jewish birth name Hadassah means “to do the right thing.” Her Persian given name, Esther, means ‘Star’ in Persian, but ‘hide, conceal’ in Hebrew.
Amazingly so, God made all these names come to life in this woman, who started off like Cinderella and ended up the rescuer of her people.
Esther was a teenaged girl who got caught up in the drama surrounding the Persian throne. The current King had just removed his Queen from her position, and was looking for a replacement. All the beautiful girls across the country were gathered up and taken to the palace to be groomed & trained for a one day meeting of the King. If he liked you, and you stayed overnight, you became a part of his harem, his property.
Esther impressed those training the girls, following every suggestion & tip they offered. The King was delighted with her, and made her the new Queen.
There are two other players in this story worth mentioning. Esther’s uncle Mordecai, and a chief official named Haman.
In a nutshell, Haman wanted Mordecai to bow down to him, which as a devout Jew, Mordecai wouldn’t do.
Because Haman took this as a personal snub, he made an edit (official announcement approved by the King) to kill all the Jews in Persia, not just Mordecai. Not knowing that the Queen herself was Jewish.
Esther, after a period of fasting and prayer, set out to do the most dangerous thing she could do – approach the King without being summoned. In those days, you could die for this. The King extended his scepter and asked her to speak. She invited he & Haman to a banquet. And so pleased the King he offered her up to half his kingdom. She then invited them both to a second banquet, where she revealed the edit, the fact she was Jewish, & the instigator was Haman. The King left in a range, and retuned just in time to see Haman groveling & appearing to molest the Queen.
The King promptly had Haman hung on the gallows he had built to kill Mordecai, & modified the edit to give the Jews the right to defend themselves.
For such a time as this, Esther stepped up as only she could, and reminds me to do the same as He leads.
Esther impacted her people’s history in a way that could only have come to pass if she did as God prompted her to do.
And God included the book of Esther in His Word to remind women everywhere that He can use them, wherever they are!