Hello!!! What a great week it has been looking at our meditation verse and the next part of Esther’s story. I’ve also been planning the next series after Esther so I’m super excited about revealing what this is to you all soon!!
So this week we were looking at this this verse:
“Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favour with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life-this is my petition. And spare my people-this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.” Esther 7:3-4
The perfect timing
I spoke in our Facebook Live discussion this week about the importance of timing, and that this was the third time Esther had been asked by the King what her request was. She finally comes round to saying what is really on her mind, but it intrigued me to know why she had waited until then. She could have asked him in the throne room when she first approached him, and she could have asked him at the first banquet. But no, she waits until a second banquet is arranged and then tells him.
All the while, events are taking place in the background with Mordecai and Haman, which are the undertone to the story and mean that the King is in the right place/mood to be appalled by what Esther has said and decide in her favour. But did she know that? Was she aware of this all happening? Or did God give her nudges to delay until the time was right? We can’t really know, and perhaps Esther’s fear just took hold of her the first two times and meant she didn’t have the courage to ask until the third time. All we know, is that to God, timing is important. It can be the difference between life and death. And so sometimes, when things are delayed or we don’t see answers straight away (I mean the Jews were probably getting antsy by this point as the countdown clock was on for their murder), it doesn’t mean God isn’t interested – it means he is working in the background to everything ready for the RIGHT TIME.
Did anyone else spot that Esther is referred to as “Queen Esther” in this verse, whereas in chapter five she is sometimes just referred to as “Esther”? In this moment she is owning her role, she is acting as Queen, and she is important to the King. She is not just another subject to be dismissed or who’s life he can play around with, she is his chosen Queen, and that makes a big difference to her request.
Method in the madness
So I guess I had been thinking, why another banquet, why all this pandering around, just get to the point ESTHER!!! But I know there is method in her madness. Someone commented in the Facebook Group that “a gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great” (Proverbs 18:16) – so hosting two banquets a giving the King a good time, is a way to access his favour. She has buttered him up essentially, and is now able to go for the big ask. She has not rushed into anything. She had selected all the right words, explaining why she was asking and pre-empting his questions. She was prepared and she was armed. This was her last chance to stop her murder afterall! Do we do the same? Or do we rush in unarmed, unprepared and unlikely to get the right response?
How was she feeling?
After all the practical stuff, lets also step back into Esther’s shoes for a moment here. Yes she has been very wise and thoughtful, etc etc. But in that moment she was asking him to decide between life and death for her. Can you hear the beating of her heart, the throbbing of pressure in her head, the spinning of her emotions? I bet Esther was physically and emotionally exhausted about now, after the first two interactions with the King, and yet here she is asking for even more. To stand up and do that from a place of exhaustion would have been hard. She really was one brave woman.
So we have seen what Esther asked, and how big a deal that was for her, but next week we’ll look at the fallout, meditating on this verse (remember to put yourself in Esther’s shoes whilst this is all taking place!):
“The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.” Esther 7:7
I hope you will join me in kicking off the week’s discussion over in the Facebook group with a live discussion at 8pm on Monday evening.