December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, ‘Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.’ Esther replied, ‘My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.’”—Esther 5:6–8 (NIV)
When reading this passage, the saying “the man is the head but the woman is the head that turns the neck” comes to mind. It’s evident that Esther has gained the king’s favor when he’s willing to give her up to half the kingdom! This seems like a generous offer, but we know not to take this literally as it was a common phrase during biblical times (Mark 6:23).
In the previous chapter, Mordecai reveals to Esther what Haman plans to do to their people and asks for her help to have the king intercede. The only way to approach the king in his inner court is by invitation only and those who visit unannounced could be mercilessly executed (Esther 4:11).
We must understand the king didn’t have the best reputation in how he treated his queens (Esther 1 and 2), so Esther’s concerns are valid. But God is with Esther and He strengthens her with supernatural courage to appear before the king in his inner courts without being summoned by him.
Esther’s playing the long game and knows she has to navigate the situation wisely. Instead of blurting out her request, she invites the king and Haman to a banquet with the intention of exposing the truth. Once at the banquet; however, she once again decides to delay the inevitable once more. Some scholars interpret this as fear, while others interpret her move as strategic. She had fasted for three days and her body, mind, and soul were attuned to the Spirit. The Spirit must have led her to wait. Waiting isn’t our forte as humans, but God does great works in the waiting! Doesn’t He?
Not much is revealed in this passage, but what is most fascinating is that a Spirit-led young girl like Esther could have such influence in the godless King of Persia. The king knows when she first appeared to him in the inner courts, her visit would lead to her death. Instead, he extended the golden scepter, which she touched the top of, presenting herself as a humble petitioner and this move protects her from the law. Not only does he give his attention the first time, but also the second time. If an imperfect king like Xerxes can tolerate this behavior, what can our perfect King Jesus do for us? Actually, let me rephrase this . . . what has our perfect King Jesus already done for us?
Our sin was our death sentence, but He didn’t just protect us, He took it upon Himself to die in our place. Not only did He save us from this eternal fate, but He now guides us with His Spirit and walks with us through this journey we call life while providing us with real influence to witness to this fallen world for His glory. He wants us to be deliverers of good news, just like He’s using Esther to deliver His people. You see, God isn’t mentioned in the Book of Esther, not once, but His imprint is all over this beautiful story of deliverance. It isn’t difficult to point to God when He resides in us and He leaves trails of His existence and presence everywhere we look. We just have to slow our pace down, observe all around us, and share His everlasting love to all who want to hear.
Pause: What did God save you from? As you follow Him, how has He used your influence in your family/home, workplace, neighborhood, etc.?
Practice: Take a 15-minute walk and look around you. What do you see? What reminds you of God?
Pray: Jesus, we are humbled that You’ve chosen to deliver us from death. We don’t often show our gratitude and take You for granted, but we’re forever thankful for You. Thank You for reminding us of Your sacrifice in a story that doesn’t even mention You! We’re amazed by the influence You give us to tell people about You. You’re everywhere to us, but most importantly, You’re in our hearts. We love you, Jesus, King of our hearts. Walk with us today because we need You by our side. Amen.
Alessandra (Ally) Velsor has been part of the Calvary Chapel staff since 2009. Because her family owned various restaurants growing up, she determined to do something else and got a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication. But… never say never…
She served in The Grill at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale for 14 years as a server, restaurant manager, and catering manager. She’s currently serving as the cafe supervisor in the Plantation campus. She met her husband, Kenny, working at The Grill and married him in 2011. They have two amazing children Joshua and Sunny.