God places His people for His purposes!

Scripture reading for May 13: Esther1-2

The story of Esther takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the 50,000 Jews were rebuilding the temple and walls in Jerusalem.  It never mentions the name of God, but God’s presence is implied and felt throughout the story.  It is the story of ordinary Jewish people who were trying to be faithful to God while they lived in a foreign land.  The story shows God was moving among His people and turning all circumstances, even those appearing evil, for their good.  (Romans 8:28) 

God put Esther, a beautiful virgin and Jew, in the palace of the pagan king of Persia.  Ahasuerus, the king, liked to drink and boast of his wealth and possessions, and his women!  He called for his beautiful queen, Vashti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with him, but Queen Vashti refused.  The king was furious and sought counsel as to what to do about this offense.  It was decided that she must be made a public example so that other women would not get the idea that they could disobey their husbands and show them disrespect.  Queen Vashti was removed from her royal position and was never to come into the king’s presence again!  As a result of this, a search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place.  God exalted Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!

Why was the king was so upset?  In that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands.  This disrespect by disobedience was not tolerated!  In the pagan culture, no conviction of right or wrong could stop the king from having what he wanted!  All the men in power agreed about that and felt threatened by the queen’s action!  They felt that they needed to take action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)

But God used the culture of that day to accomplish His purposes.  He removed the one queen, probably protecting her for her stand of faith.  He placed Esther, a godly Jew, in the place of influence and gave her favor in order to bring about the deliverance of all His people!  (Esther 2:17)  As a godly Jew, Esther knew how to obey the king and still remain loyal to her God.  By faith she became an example of a woman true to her people and to God! Her story is written down to help believers understand God’s protective ways.

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