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.”