The disobedience of Queen Vashti to the call of King Ahasuerus led to her removal as queen. After the passage of some time the king’s advisers urged him to move ahead with the rest of his plan. A young woman more worthy than Vashti would take her place.
The choice of the new queen would be the king’s alone, but others would be very involved in the lengthy process appropriate for the king’s exalted position. Officers throughout his territory would select the most beautiful young women among all his subjects. One of the king’s trusted advisers would prepare certain favored candidates for their opportunity with the king. Eventually Ahasuerus would make his final choice and the search for Vashti’s replacement would be completed.
One of the young women selected to serve the king was the beautiful Hadasseh, also known as Esther, an orphan who was living in the care of a more mature relative by the name of Mordecai. Esther obeyed the word of Mordecai as an obedient daughter should follow her father’s good instruction. Mordecai told Esther to keep her heritage a secret. Esther was a Jew, but no one beyond Mordecai knew this important fact.
Esther won the favor of the adviser who was preparing all the young women who might become the new queen. He surrounded her with servants who would help her to do well with the most powerful man in all of Persia. We are told that, “Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.” When her turn came to be with the king he also expressed his approval of this young woman and eventually chose her as Vashti’s replacement.
Even after she was queen, Esther continued to obey Mordecai as she had earlier. She continued to keep her important secret—that she was a Jew. When Mordecai uncovered a plot against the life of the king, Esther brought word to the king as her trusted relative commanded. The official record noted that it was Mordecai who had uncovered this treason and had taken action for the good of the king.
These details prepared us for the decisive moment when Esther and Mordecai would save the Jews, the chosen people of the Lord God Almighty. Why were Mordecai and Esther even in the capital city of the Persian Empire? God had sent His people into exile. It was not the Lord’s intention to leave them in disgrace or to allow their enemies to destroy them from the face of the earth. He was preparing an opportunity for two obscure people, Mordecai and Esther, to speak up for His beloved Israel. The choice of Esther as queen and even Mordecai’s role in protecting the life of the king would be important details in the story of the salvation of the Jews in Persia. The Lord had not forgotten His beloved people. He would save them.
In the New Testament era the people of God would expand far beyond the descendants of Jacob. Gentiles would be brought into the Lord’s household. Jews and Gentiles who had true faith in the Lord’s Messiah would serve Him together as the bride of the royal Son of God. They would be chosen because of His love for them. They have become the beloved of the Lord forever and ever.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, Your special care for Your church, Your royal bride, is most wonderful and gracious. Teach us the way to be pleasing to You through Christ. May we grow in the beauty of holiness. Lord God, the time of our remaining days here may be very brief. Show us how to live in wisdom and righteousness throughout our lives. We have heard from Your Word that You delight in us. May we always win favor in Your sight because of the work of Your Son on our behalf. You give us so many gifts through Your royal generosity. We want to serve You with diligence. We seek the honor of Your Name. We pray that all those who hate You would be stopped in their evil plans through Your perfect knowledge and power.