I know, I know, long time no post.
Life has happened. You know, the kind of life where you’re so busy some days that you actually consider not going to bed in hopes of actually crossing HALF of your list off for the day? THAT kind of busy.
But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about a Queen. We often think that Royalty “has it made”. They live the easy life and have people waiting on them hand and foot. They have “people” for every area of life. I’m sure there are drawbacks for every “nicety” that they experience, but this particular queen had some special challenges.
For starters, she was an orphan. Then she was under the watch-care of an uncle who “strongly encouraged” her into a beauty contest. But this wasn’t just any old beauty contest. THIS contest was to REPLACE a queen that got de-queened, if that’s a word, for not doing what her king wanted her to.
So he had a contest. But it wasn’t just any old contest. THIS one was intense! She had a full YEAR of preparation, with very specific rules of purification that she had to complete and she had servants assigned to her to make sure that things went as planned. Her uncle watched out after her the whole time, sending messages as he could to make sure she was OK.
At the end of the contest, the King found favor with her and made her his new Queen. But then came the complications. The Queen’s uncle discovered a plot to kill the King, sent a message to the Queen, and as a result saved the King’s life.
About this same time, the King appointed a new “Right Hand Man” in the kingdom who had authority over others in the kingdom. This authority kind of went to his head, and when he started to notice that most of the men were bowing to him but the Queen’s uncle wouldn’t he got mad and decided to go to the King to make a new rule. This rule REQUIRED people to pay homage and bow before the RHM.
But the Queen’s uncle’s people were not technically under the authority of the RHM and the rule then didn’t apply to them. But that didn’t make the RHM happy. In fact, it really “cheesed his toast”! So, RHM went to the King and pointed out that these people “were trouble-makers” and asked permission to have ALL of these people killed, and their possessions seized and then the RHM was made the decision-maker over what to do with both them and their “stuff”.
This sent The Queen’s uncle into quite a state and he was found to be sitting by the gate of the palace, his garments torn and dirty, and reports started coming into The Queen about his behavior. So The Queen sent one of her “people” out to the gate to find out what was going on and what had her uncle so upset.
The Queen’s helper came back to her with a copy of the edict AND a message from her uncle. He wanted HER to go before the King to plead for her people. Now, you’re thinking, “That shouldn’t have been a big deal, right? He was the King. She was the Queen.” But here’s where it gets sticky: The Queen KNEW the rules. The rules said that anyone who went before The King without being invited LITERALLY TOOK THEIR LIFE INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. Now, if you’ll remember, The Queen hadn’t been INVITED to appear before The King.
Scary???? Ummm….scarier than scary! This was truly a life or death request. The Queen sent a message back to her uncle reminding him of this little fact.
But he replied back and said, “Look, I understand that, but if you stay quiet, somebody else is going to have to fight the battle, but YOUR family will perish. Do you think maybe THIS is why you are where you are?”
So The Queen asks her uncle to gather her people and ask them to fast and pray for her and she makes a plan. She plans a special dinner for the King. She went before The King and she was so beautiful that The King indicated that it was OK for her to be there and could tell that she was upset. He asked her what was wrong. Rather than telling him right then, she invited him to her dinner party.
But she was a SMART woman, so she also invited the RHM to come with the King. She fed them a wonderful meal and filled their tummies, then she made her request. But she STILL didn’t get right to it. She invited them to come AGAIN for dinner. Both of them.
And the RHM went home and gloated to his family about how favored he was and that even The Queen invited JUST The King and his RHM to a banquet. But he also told them that it STILL made him angry that The Queen’s uncle wouldn’t bow to him.
So the RHM’s wife suggested that he have all of the necessary instruments built to hang The Queen’s uncle and then AT the banquet, request that the King allow him to hang The Queen’s uncle. Haman LOVED this idea and jumped right on it!
But during the night, The King couldn’t sleep, so he called for one of his servants to come read to him. His “bedtime story” was a recounting of the story of when The Queen’s uncle saved The King’s life.
The King got to thinking and wondered if the man who saved his life had been adequately thanked and was informed that he hadn’t been!
And then The King heard a noise. When he asked what was going on, it was the RHM, who chose that very time to come in and ask about having The Queen’s uncle killed. Rather than finding out FIRST what the RHM wanted, the King asked him what HE would suggest that The King do to honor someone. In all of the RHM’s arrogance, he thought HE was the one to be honored, so he made GRANDIOSE suggestions: Royal robes, one of The King’s horses and an escort and then he was to be led through the city streets proclaiming that he was being honored by The King.
Well, how surprised to you think the RHM WAS when he was told that HE was to take the robe and horse and lead THE QUEEN’S UNCLE, the man HE wanted to KILL, around on the horse through the city.
The RHM went home, ashamed, and told his wife all that had happened. She was in the process of reminding him that there was NO WAY he was going to be allowed to kill him, but would likely end up having to fall before HIM in honor! While they were still talking, The King’s men came to get him for The Queen’s Banquet.
While sitting WITH The King and The Queen, the RHM had to listen as The Queen begged The King to save both HER life and the life of her people. She reported that she and her people had been sold and were to be killed and annihilated.
The King was SHOCKED! He did not know that The Queen was from the people that he had given permission to have killed. So, in his shock, he asked her how this was possible and who was responsible. While the RHM sat before them, The Queen ratted him out! She pointed to him and said, “It’s HIM! He is responsible.”
The King was so angry that he stormed out of the room, but the RHM stayed behind to BEG The Queen to spare his life. The King came back in to find his RHM sprawled out on one of the couches, apparently in a pose that looked compromising, and assumed that he had assaulted The Queen, adding insult to injury.
One of The King’s servants chose that moment to point out the instruments of death that the RHM had constructed to kill The Queen’s Uncle, and before Haman knew what was going on, he was hanged on the very gallows he built.
And King Ahasuerus’ anger subsided. And Mordecai, the Uncle was saved, along with ALL of the nation of Israel. And Queen Esther was responsible. (Read the Book of Esther to hear the whole story – this is my translation!)
All because she was WILLING to take “a risk” and do what she was asked to do.
This was a Jewish woman following the prompting of her Uncle, but what about us today?
God asks us to take a stand in SO MANY situations. Very seldom today is our VERY LIFE in jeopardy for following His leading. It may be hard, yes. It may SEEM like it is sucking the very life out of us. We may risk our reputation or our position or our name, in some circles. But we are not asked to give our life.
He simply wants us to take the stand that he asks us to take. And to be bold and sometimes to be brave.
Sometimes we are the ONLY one willing to do it.
But what if we are the ONLY ONE THAT HE NEEDS to get the job done?
And what if we choose not to, because of what “might” happen?
Puts a different spin on “hard things”, doesn’t it?
Do you have a story of how you have found this to be true? I would love to hear it, and I know there are others reading this who would too! Please Comment Below and share your thoughts. I sincerely want to hear them! And I PROMISE you, I know of situations RIGHT NOW where people NEED to hear them. THANK YOU in advance!
BE AN ESTHER! You have NO IDEA what a difference you might make!