Lately i was preparing a lesson on the book of Esther, so i decided to write a bit of the teachings that i learnt during this study.

The time and period of Esther
The period of the book of Esther is very closed to the period of Ezra and Nehemiah returning to Jerusalem. At that time Zerubbabel had already lead the Jews back to Jerusalem, Esther’s husband was king Xerxes, which is the son of Darius the great (The same Persian King in the movie 300).

At that time, there was a plot to end the lives of all Jews under the Persian empire. This book records of how God preserved the people by creating favourable conditions for Esther to become queen. And how Esther risked her life to serve God and accomplish the work that God intended her to do.

In the book of Esther, there is no mentioned of the word God, but one can easily see Gods hand in the events recorded. This book is use by the Jew’s in the feast of Purim. They will read it aloud, and whenever the evil Haman is mentioned, they will use a bell instead of reading his name.

The story of Esther
The book of Esther began with a banquet by king Ahasuerus. When In the middle of the banquet, he requested his Queen Vashti to come to the banquet arrayed in her royal apparel. That was refused by the queen, hence she was no longer queen due to her disobedience.

Later, there was a huge selection of maidens that was sent to the palace for the selection of the next Queen.  Esther was bought into the palace together with other maidens. they were given beauty treatments, and to choose an items to carry with themselves when they meet with the king. Esther won the favour of everybody, from the Eunuch to the King himself, and she was chosen queen.

Then there is a certain Agagite, (Or Amalekite) by the name of Haman who rose to power, When he passed by Mordecai the Jew (Esther’s uncle). Mordecai did not kneel before him, and this made Haman angry, and he plotted to kill all the Jews.

This was then Mordecai requests Esther’s help to talk to the king, Esther was hesitant to do this, because she was not summoned before the king for the past 30 days ( By Persian Law,  if one appears before the king without being summoned, he/she is liable to be put to death unless the king stretches his scepter towards that person)

Mordecai reminded Esther that she will never know if God places her in the palace to save the Jews, and if she remain silent, God will raise deliverance for the Jews somewhere else, and she will perish without a purpose. That was when Esther showed her faith, and request everyone to fast and pray for her.

Esther went into the presence of the king, and miraculously, the king stretch out his scepter to her, and she requested Haman and the King to visit her to have a banquet together with her. After the first night, she requested them to come again, only then she revealed that she was a Jew, and beg the king not to kill them. At that point, the king was furious and stomped out of the hall, there Haman was afraid, and begged for his life, but when the king return, he saw him falling on the couch where Esther was laying.  He got even angrier, and caught Haman, and hanged him.

In the end, Esther and Mordecai with the kings order, manage to reverse the edict to exterminate all the Jews, and instead turn it into an order for the Jews to avenge themselves on their tormentors. This marks the feast of Purim.

Lesson Learnt
1. A lot of times God works in a wonderful way, a lot of incidents in the book of Esther seems to be coincidental, but you can see Gods hand in it.

2. Sometimes when serving God, one need to have faith (like Esther having the faith to visit the king un-invited). And it requires a bit of sacrifice on our part, (Esther famous words, “If I perish, I perish”).

 So it is hope that we will all learn the spirit of Esther in our service to God.

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