People Of The Bible: Esther

God instituted a plan for your life the moment you were born. Many worry they will miss it or somehow derail it. However, God knows exactly what it will take for you to accomplish His will. If you devote your life to Him, He will take care of the details so that you will not only do His will but receive a tremendous blessing in the process. Thinking back over time and wishing you could do things differently only keeps you from enjoying His goodness today. God saved you. He knew all you would do - good and bad - and still He sent His Son to die for you.

God has chosen us to take part in the work of His kingdom. Have you ever asked: "Lord, what is Your call for me?" It may be to tell your neighbor about God's eternal love and forgiveness. Maybe He is calling you to change careers, return to school, or take up another vocation. He may have chosen you to be a stay-at-home mom. Regardless of the vocation, God chooses to use you. The goal He has in mind for your life will always be for your good and His glory.

This is what Esther came to know. And though she was not born into royalty, she became Queen of Persia. She was Jewish, an orphan who was raised by her cousin, and a very unlikely candidate for the king's harem. However, her remarkable beauty won her a spot among the many women who longed to catch the king's eye. And while it may have been her dark complexion and glowing eyes that drew the king's favor, it was her deeper spiritual qualities that sealed his affections.

In the book of Esther we learn that God's people were in danger of annihilation. A wicked scheme had been launched against them. And if their adversary followed through with his plans, the nation of Israel would be all but eliminated. How did the Jewish people get into such a difficult spot?

For one, they did not return to Jerusalem after Persia conquered Babylon. Their exile into Babylonian captivity had lasted many years. When they had a chance to return to the city of God, many chose instead to move northward to another foreign land. Their devotion to the Lord had faded, and they were no longer practicing the principles of the law handed down to Moses.

It is through these circumstances that God painted a tremendous picture of His eternal love and ability to protect what is His. Instead of allowing His people to be overthrown, He set up a plan for their survival even though their hearts were turned against Him. When Esther learned of the scheme, she made a decision to take the initiative to save her people even if it meant death for herself. A person who is mighty in spirit will seize the opportunity God has placed before him or her. He will not back away in fear but step forward by faith to bring about a resolution.

Your "usability" before God is a matter of personal devotion. When your heart is turned toward Him, He will strengthen you to accomplish great and mighty things. You may think there is very little you can do, but God always makes a way for you to achieve His will.

Esther realized the danger that was there and went to work. Those who are mighty in spirit not only take the initiative when the opportunity appears, they also take the lead in order to relieve the pressure on those around them. Esther was willing to die if necessary to save those she loved. When she was chosen as queen, the king did not know she was Jewish. Marriage to a Jew was strictly forbidden in the Persian empire. But God's hand of providence placed Esther in the right place at the right time.

Even though Israel had become involved in the worship of foreign gods, God did not remove His love from them. Nor did He forsake His covenant promise to Israel. Neither will He remove His love from you. While He hates sin, He loves the sinner. You may suffer the consequences of a wrong decision. But the moment you turn back to the Lord, He avails Himself to you. This is how the love of God works. It is the drawing force that can pull you back to a deep and rewarding relationship with His Son.

Esther asked the Jewish people to fast and pray for three days. Then she entered the king's presence and exposed the evil plot against her people. Mordecai, her cousin, encouraged her: "Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" When the king learned of the plot, he took the measures needed to save the Jews.

At some point, God will place a challenge before you. It may be extremely difficult to complete, but to turn away means spiritual defeat. When Esther became queen, she had no idea she would be given such a large responsibility. God could have found another person to take her place, but He chose her.

Are you a person who wants to become mighty in spirit? The characteristics include: faith in God; courage that is not easily deterred; determination; a sense of opportunity and timing; and patience. Esther exercised all of these. In the end she became a mighty tool in the hand of God, and you can too.

Copyright © 1997 October IN TOUCH magazine
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