Esther – The Godly Woman (XII)

I. A Book Summary:
a) King Ahaseurus is Esther’s husband, and Mordecai is her uncle, functioning as her step-father (ch.2:5-7).

b) Esther is a queen, but also a subject. Like all other subjects, she could in theory be summarily executed if on entering the king’s courts, the king does not hold out the golden sceptre to her (ch.4:11).

c) Mordecai functions as Esther’s intelligence officer. At his prompting, she warns the king of a plot to take his life (ch.2:21-23).

d) This grants Mordecai credibility, and the details of his action are recorded (ch.6:1-3).

e) Esther agrees to fast for 3 days, and encourages Mordecai and the Jews to join her, presumably to seek God’s deliverance from the crisis brought on by Haman (ch.4:16).

f) Esther exposes Haman’s wicked plot to kill the Jews, and he is executed (ch.7:10).

g) Mordecai is made 2nd only to the king (ch.10:3).

Some Observations:

1. The king accepted Haman’s plan to kill the Jews, unaware of the implications. This itself shows us how he needed godly counsel. Men are not the repository of all wisdom and knowledge; God described Adam alone, as being “not good” (Gen.2:18). Men are completed in their headship, when they have the whole-hearted contribution of their “husband-helper.”

Thus it is encumbent on husbands to understand and respect their wife, and to make room for the way she can minister in the home and family and within her husband’s responsibilities (Prov.31:11-12). Otherwise they will miss out on the blessing that comes from being “one flesh” with their wife.“One flesh” is made legal on the couple’s marriage day, but it is a state that requires individual growth and maturity, if the respective spouses are to benefit. The blessings are not automatic. The husband and wife both need to understand their individual roles, whilst they accept and make way for the God-given role of their spouse.

2. Esther’s relationships with the king and with Mordecai, are quite proper. Most wives, at least in the earlier years of their marriage, have a father. Mordecai, in his function as an intelligence gatherer for Esther, is indirectly serving the king, and manages to thwart a plot against him. In the context of her home and husband, Esther is faithful and submissive. In relation to her people, she accepts another aspect of faithfulness and obligation, so that innocent blood is not shed.

3. Esther manages to carefully consider and direct her allegiances. She did “leave and cleave,” and her heart is with her husband the king. Esther has formed a new family, but this does not mean the dissolving of all past associations, affiliations and relationships. She does not neglect her responsibilities toward Mordecai, her step-father, and her people. She is it seems, mindful of the commandment to “Honour your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you” (Ex.20:12). She is also conscious that, “as for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight” (Ps.16:3).

Jesus gave His disciples a stern warning: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). This is not an indication that believers are to be hostile to their families; but in our relationship with Him, we are to ensure that He has first claim on us. This is a reminder of the 1st Commandment (Ex.20:3). Once this priority is clearly established, we can then enjoy a happy relationship with our family. Is this priority clearly established in your mind?

4. Esther is aware that she does have two legitimate human allegiances, but she retains her faithfulness to her husband the king, and to her people in their crisis and time of need. She does not permit the allegiances  to become competitive, or mutually exclusive. In this context, she works with Mordecai to bring about an excellent result, so that the conspiracy against the Jews is thwarted.

5. Not only is she able to successfully intercede with her husband the king, to ensure the welfare and protection of her people, but one of them (who happens to be her step-father), is subsequently promoted. Like Joseph in Egypt, Mordecai is to be 2nd only to the king, for his prudence and initiative.

Conclusion:

Esther is an excellent woman and wife:

1) She has been prepared to accede to her husband’s wishes (ch.2:14, 17).

2) With Mordecai’s assistance, she has protected her husband the king from a murderous conspiracy (ch.2:21-23).

3) She has saved her people from slaughter (ch.7).

4) Her prudence has led to a godly man being promoted, to be second only to the king (ch.10:3).

Wouldn’t you want to be like her?

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain (Prov.31:10-11).

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