That title sounds like a good movie title doesn’t it? The preacher at our church taught on the book of Esther in the Old Testament recently, and per usual, I saw some aspects of the story with fresh eyes. Now, I did also hear the music in my head from the Veggie Tales version of the narrative with a cucumber King Xerxes and a green pea Uncle Mordecai. My special needs 18 year old is a big fan. But I digress.
I have loved the story of Esther since I was a girl. I’m not the only American female enamored with royalty. The popularity of the Disney princesses and Harry and Meghan attest to that. But the bravery and loyalty of this young woman inspired me and captured my imagination as well. Without taking the time and space to cover the entire 10 chapters of Esther here (our pastor did so beautifully), I will encourage you to read through this sweeping saga on your own. You can find it just before the book of Job which is just before the book of Psalms – close to the mid point of your Bible. I do, however, want to tell you just a piece of the story so I can explain how something that happened thousands of years ago (and long before the birth of Christ) brought me to a fresh encounter with Jesus.
To summarize, King Xerxes, with the urging of a trusted advisor, issued an edict that all the Jewish peoples in his vast kingdom were to be destroyed, killed and annihilated on a single day in the not-too-distant future. His young queen Esther, being Jewish, was in danger. Her beloved uncle encouraged her to approach the king and “beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.” Esther 4:8 NIV The queen was afraid because any man or woman who approached the king in the inner court without being summoned would be put to death, her position as his wife not withstanding. Only the king extending his gold scepter to his visitor would spare the life. Esther showed great courage by presenting herself to her king and great relief when he extended his scepter. She convinced him to save her people and has gone down in history as someone God placed in position to carry out His plans.
What struck me anew about this story is the law that no one, not even family could approach the king unsummoned. Anyone wishing to see Xerxes had to send a message requesting an audience with him and wait to see if he granted permission. Esther knew her request was too urgent for royal protocol and therefore knew she had to break it – regardless of the consequences. And yet I have open access to the King and Creator of the universe. The most powerful and majestic Ruler who ever was, is and is to come holds out a golden scepter for me 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. I don’t have to request an audience with Him or be granted permission. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” I’m not sure if it’s more accurate to say I don’t have to be summoned, or that I’m always summoned, but I am profoundly grateful.
I assure you it is not because of anything I am or have done. God is good and perfect, but Romans 3:23 says that I (and in fact every human) is flawed and sinful. That creates a gap between us and God. Jesus lived a perfect life and died a sinless death in order to bridge that gap for us. All we have to do is believe in Jesus as the one and only source of salvation from our sins (John 3:16). He is the pathway to God. He throws open the throne room to bring our requests – our very lives – before the Lord of heaven and earth. And through that door we enjoy the golden scepter of God’s love, forgiveness and unfathomable mercy for eternity.
I would love to talk with you more about how you can have this kind of confidence before God – no matter who you are or what you have done. He loves you and He waits patiently for you. Leave a comment here on this post or jump over to my comments page to send me an anonymous email. If you are local it would make my day to have coffee or lunch with you or if you live too far away we can chat by phone, text or email. He adores you. And it’s my absolute favorite thing to talk about. Until then…I’m praying Numbers 6:24-26 for you. May “The Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
I love it when our pastor shines a new light on a topic as yours did with the story of Esther. She is a wonderful, brave role model for girls (and boys). I think we sometimes take for granted the gift of grace. We think we are not worthy, we don’t deserve it, and so we turn away. Thankfully, God is always there, holding out his golden scepter for us!
Such good news, Laurie!
Karen Del Tatto says
I love the book of Esther too! It might be one of my favorites.
I’ve always been so taken and actually encouraged by her statement, “If I perish, I perish” when thinking of approaching the throne.
Indeed, how wonderful that Jesus rent the veil and we can now approach the throne of Grace without fear. He bids us to come.
Thanks for sharing.
Michele Morin says
How wonderful to be reminded at the end of a busy week that God will always welcome me into His glorious presence!
He is so sweet to us.
I too love the book of Esther! I can only pray that I’m as brave and bold as she was when she took that risk for her people. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for being a faithful reader, Rachel!
I’m so thankful for the bold and confident access to God we can have through Jesus!
Me too, Elizabeth!
Great post, Lauren! I love the story of Esther for many reasons; but your example of the fact we can approach our King at any times is a new way of looking at it. I’m in awe the King of the Universe would allow me to approach Him at any time. I mean, we are talking about the King above all kIngs, the Lord of lords, the One True God!
How awesome is that!
It is incredible to contemplate. Thanks so much for engaging with me!
Lisa Richardson says
So beautifully written, Lauren. It is pretty amazing to think that we can walk with Jesus by our side every single minute of the day. What a gift. ❤️
Thank you, Lisa.
And, He said “Lo, I am with you always….” Thanks for this reminder, Lauren. Blessings to you.
Blessings to you, Boma!
Rebecca Jones says
I do love that story and how it relate to us being able to come boldly. Studying the Jewish perspective is helpful too, I had a lady sent me a post called the The King is in the Field, it was just before Rosh Hashanah. Apparently, you could not approach the king without a lot of protocol as a peasant or even average person, but once a year, He went out into the fields. Jesus did that, and really gave us access by His crucifixion.
Thanks so much for that perspective, Rebecca!
I love how you tied those passages together – that Esther’s fearful position before King Xerxes was an image of sorts of us coming before God, but that if we are in Christ, we don’t have to be afraid because His “scepter” will always be extended toward us. Wonderful post.
Thank you, Faith! Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you for this. It is amazing how many times I take for granted the amazing privilege of prayer.
I think most of us do. Thanks, David.
Anita Ojeda says
I was just reading in Esther this morning! I love her story–especially how she handled a horrible circumstance (having to join a harem and spend a night with the king) with grace and dignity.
A great role model and story for sure!
Aimee Imbeau says
Thanks for sharing your new insights on the story of Esther. I, too, have always loved the story. For my blog newsletter, I have been focusing on the study of women in the Bible. I just finished up a few weeks on Esther – I learned so much! Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
Thanks for reading, Aimee!
Charlie | MississippiMom says
He holds out the scepter to me. Thank you for that image today!
I’m so glad it was encouraging to you, Charlie!
Mary Geisen says
There is a richness to Esther’s story that goes beyond the fact she was chosen to be King Xerxes wife. Thank you for pointing me to the free access we have in God 24/7.There is no special permission needed. What a gift!
What a gift!
Kathleen Bailey says
I am not familiar with the book of Esther yet but you make a very good point. Thank goodness we can have an audience with God whenever. We are very blessed.
He is so very good to us.
Lori Schumaker says
Love this! Esther’s story is one of my favorites, too! It’s also a story of adoption and November is National Adoption Month ♥ I am featuring you and this post in this week’s #MomentsofHope Link-Up!
Blessings to you,
Thank you so much, Lori. I so appreciate it and I appreciate you hosting the link up.