Have you ever pushed through fear to do something that terrified you? Queen Esther did.
In my Esther Bible Study, we discover the people of Esther’s heritage, the Jews, faced tremendous persecution by an evil leader who had the power to annihilate them. Esther was Queen with a divinely-inspired level of influence. She alone could do something to stop the coming madness. She could approach the king and convince him to act.
But fear gripped her.
Bible Study Lessons from the Book of Esther
While she knew she once owned favor from her husband, the king of Persia, he hadn’t called for her in a long while. Had he dismissed her? Esther lived in a long-ago era where women were deemed property and their intuition was utterly disregarded. To approach the king without an invitation—even when she was married to him—could lead to her execution.
Esther wrestled with the decision to get involved. She counted the cost and knew that her decision could lead to dire consequences. Offering surrender was the bravest thing possible: She presented her offering to God, surrendering to the Lord’s will, and uttered one of the most piercing declarations in Scripture:
“If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16, HCSB)
In Bible study, we see that—after convincing persuasion by her uncle—Esther refused to let her people face destruction without stepping into action. She weighed the cost of her involvement then made the decision to entrust her life to God himself, knowing He alone could protect her. But first, she called for a fast.
Why did Esther Fast?
Her husband was a fickle king, ruled by his own emotions, and moving to action as his moods determined. As Esther prepared to meet her destiny, she didn’t go alone. She encouraged the Jews to support her by fasting for three days. During a fast, the Jews commonly sought God’s will, His protection, and His involvement. And when it was time to speak out, Esther boldly faced her fears and approached the king.
Blessings of Surrendering to God
As we discover in the book of Esther Bible study, sharing her news took several tries, but Esther accomplished her task. She revealed the evil plot to the king who made provision for the Jews to protect themselves against attack. Her people were empowered to gain victory in an overwhelming battle.
But what if Esther held her tongue? What if she let anxiety and fear stop her from stepping into service? What if she’d chosen her personal comfort and safety over the protection of her people?
Esther’s uncle, Mordecai shared his great wisdom when he said,
“Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14 HCSB).
It’s true. Had Esther forsaken her calling, the Lord would have protected the Jews another way. But because Esther stepped into service, she experienced the manifold blessings of surrender to God. She witnessed miracle after miracle as God revealed His power and presence.
Finding Courage in God
Through Esther’s story of courage and surrender, we continue to revel in God’s provision over the Jews in Persia today. Through God’s Word, we see . . .
- unexpected, favorable outcome from Esther’s bold step
- our God, Who, even while deafeningly quiet, remains active and present
- God’s orchestration of all things for the good of His people
- good that overcomes evil
- how God uses fully surrendered hearts for His glory
God could have rescued the Jews in countless other ways, but he chose to use His beloved child, Esther—an orphaned woman in an oppressive culture—to accomplish His purpose. He gave Esther a kingdom assignment and she found the courage to accept the challenge.
Applying Lessons from Esther of the Bible
God gives each of us a kingdom assignment. Some seem weighty and are completed in the public eye. Most, however, present themselves as typical, daily tasks accomplished in mundane settings. Each type of call is equally as significant. Every Kingdom assignment is God’s way of using our fully surrendered heart for His glory.
How does the Lord want to use you? (If you don’t know, ask Him!)
What’s holding you back from obedience?
In what ways is God prompting you to surrender to His will?
How will you prepare to step into action for your Kingdom assignment?
May God’s Word strengthen you today,
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