I was revisiting the book of Esther and came across some lessons I believe are something we can benefit from. There are many lessons in the book but the four I’m mentioning here are the ones that stood out to me this time around.
God doesn’t leave anything to chance. We see this when we look at what was taking place for Mordecai’s benefit when Haman was plotting against him. He didn’t know it but God caused the King to be unable to sleep such that he asked for the book of chronicles to be brought to him. God then made sure he read the exact page with Mordecai’s story. He further made sure Mordecai was honored. That’s God’s favor at work. Mordecai didn’t know any of this and was obviously in distress. That’s how God works. When we’re stressing or crying out to Him, He is working things out for our good behind the scenes. Look at Esther. She’s over there living her life as an ordinary person when God engineers things resulting in Queen Vashti being removed from her post as Queen. Behind the scenes work. God knew the enemy would use Haman to try to annihilate the Jews and already had a plan to keep that from happening. So whatever it is that has you worried or concerned, I’m sure God is working on it behind the scenes.
2. God’s favor at work
This is evidenced by how Esther became Queen. There were many young women that the King could choose from. Firstly that she was even part of those to be chosen from was God’s favor. Then Hegai had favor upon her, as did everyone else. That was not by happenstance, it was God’s favor at work. Then the King himself choosing her was God’s favor at it’s best.
We also see it in how the King chose to honor Mordecai. What Mordecai had done for the King had already gone unnoticed and could have stayed that way. God’s favor allowed the King to notice and to honor him as a result. Not just honor him but have his enemy decide what his reward would be.
3. Answer your call or God will find someone else
The Jews were set to be killed. Mordecai asked Esther to intervene on behalf of her people by talking to the King. Esther then sent someone to relay her concerns to Mordecai about approaching the king without being called, which could result in her death. In response to that, in Esther 4, verses 13-14, Mordecai sent back an amazing, game changing speech to Esther:
“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. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
The above are the words that had Esther changing her mind and choosing to be bold. It led to her being able to courageously say “If I perish, I perish.” If only we could all be so bold. Esther took up her role in the Kingdom of God and did what she was called to do. What have you been called to do? Are you living in that purpose?
4. The power of prayer and fasting
As human beings our fighting power is limited but that is not the case in the Spiritual realm. When we fast and pray, things are shaken and they move in the Spirit. Where Esther could have been killed, she wasn’t. Where the Jews could have been massacred, they weren’t. There is great power in fasting and praying and we see the truth of that in Esther’s case. I wrote about this aspect of the book of Esther in an article about fasting so I’ll quote that for this part:
“If you haven’t read the book of Esther, I would advise you to go and read it. In it you will see a bold woman of God in action. Through her actions, God changed the fate of her people, the Jews. When the death of her people was imminent, Esther, after being persuaded by Mordecai to help, approached the king and spoke on behalf of her people even though that could have resulted in her death. She knew she may be put to death for her actions but she still went to beg for mercy for her people.
Before going to the king, she fasted for 3 days. She didn’t do it alone. She asked her people to do it with her. At verse 16 of Esther 4, she says to Mordecai:
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
The result was that the king made sure the Jews were not killed and through Esther’s actions, they were saved. It’s a long story that I do not want to repeat here but please do go and read it yourself. What you find from Esther’s story is that God recognizes when we go to Him in fasting and prayer.”
Have you read the book of Esther? If you have, what lessons stand out for you?