Women of Integrity: Esther

We pick up the story where the King Ahaesurus (king of 127 provinces, from India to Ethiopia) had just promoted a man by the name of Haman.  Haman was the son of Hammedatha, and the King promoted Haman above all of the princes of his kingdom.  And the king commanded all of the servants of his palace and within his gate to bow down before Haman when in his presence.  And everyone indeed bowed before him, except one, Mordecai.  I figure, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he was about to bow down before anyone or thing that was not the living God, Our Creator and King!  However, when Haman noticed Mordecai he was furious and from then on looked for avenues to kill Mordecai and his people- The Jews.

Then one day Haman wen and spake with King Ahasuerus and convinced the King that the laws of the Jews contradicted the laws of his kingdom; that they were the only people in all his provinces that did not serve Haman or his men, and that the Jews in essence, must be completely destroyed.  He was saying that since they were following his commands and decrees, it is better that they not live! If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed.” (Esther 3:9)

The decree was written and signed into law and every Jew, young and old, child and senior, man and woman will be killed on a proposed date to come.  On that day, throughout all the provinces of the land, mourning and wailing rise from the cities, as the Jews wept for their lives.

The moment Queen Esther heard the decree of Haman, she was immediately offended.  No one in the King’s court or palace including King Ahasuerus himself, had known this info: Queen Esther was a Jew too!  Esther sent out her servant to confirm the report executed against the Jews.

1.     A woman of integrity seeks out the truth, and do not engage in idle or vain conversations.

When Mordecai who was like a father to Esther, explained the story, giving her an actual copy of the law written against her people, he requested of Esther that she go and petition the King on behalf of her people.  Esther reminded Mordecai that anyone regardless of their title, whether male or female; whoever goes in the inner courts before the King without been given permission by the King, could very well lose their life!   But Mordecai advised Esther strongly: Do not think you will escape the wrath of the King (since you live in the King’s palace) you are just like the rest of us.  If you do not deliver us, God will raise up a deliverer elsewhere!   Was it just a coincidence that Esther, a Jew, was in the King’s court and the Queen at the time when the Jews need help?  Perhaps she was brought to this kingdom for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14)

So Esther called all of the Jews at Shushan to fast three days and three nights for her.  When this time was up, she will go before the King to petition for their deliverance. She continued and if I perish, I perish!”

2.       A woman of integrity understands her calling and rises to the occasion.

At the end of the third day, when their fasting was complete, Esther changed into her illustrious and royal apparel and went to the inner court of the King palace where King Ahasuerus was sitting on the throne.  And when the King saw Esther standing in his court, the passage says, she “obtained favor in his sight” (Esther 5:2).  So he held out his golden sceptre permitting her to come forward.  Esther certainly obtained favor for the King replied to Esther,

What is it that you want; up to half of my kingdom is yours!

So Esther requested that the King and Haman join her at a banquet that she and her maids had prepared for them.  At the banquet again King Ahasuerus asked her, what is it that you desire?  Yet Esther just requested that he and Haman join her tomorrow for a second banquet she and her maids will prepare for them.

3.     A woman of integrity “works willingly with her hands.”  Faithfully and gently serving others as best she can.

– Proverbs 31:13

Esther diligently served the King of the best that she had.

The second day, the King and Haman came to Esther’s banquet.  Again, the King asked Esther, What is your request?  What do you desire?  And that’s when replied,  “Spare my life and the life of my people and bring recompense to the man seeking to destroy them.” (7:3-7)  Then King Ahasuerus gave Esther his ring and seal, and told her write a new decree for the protection of your people. Once the decree, is signed by my name and sealed with my ring, it cannot be reversed! And this is exactly what Esther did.  Haman, who had devised the scheme against the Jews, was hanged at the gallows immediately.  And what was meant to be the utter destruction of a nation, became the promotion of a nation.

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