Esther Finds Favor with the King
Day: 10 | Plan: Covenant
Today’s Reading: Esther 5:1-8
Esther 5:1-2 (NIV) “On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.”
Have you ever had to wait on God? Waiting is hard because often what we are waiting for is out of our control. Esther’s story reveals that we are not alone in our wait. God is with us, working out our individual circumstances as well as His greater kingdom purposes.
Today’s story comes at the end of Esther’s three-day fast. Three days of waiting upon God for the perfect time and place to confront the king. When the time arrived for her to make her move, we find Esther stronger and more confident, equipped with a plan.
Esther, dressed in her very best royal regalia, probably attired in all the king’s favorites to find favor in his eyes. Our verse today says she “stood” in the inner court of the palace. Though her very presence in that place put her life at risk, she neither cowered nor demanded an audience with the king. She stood quietly confident in the inner court, waiting until he saw her.
Upon seeing her, the king immediately welcomed her in with his golden scepter. I imagine her beauty took his breath away.
The king spoke gently to her. He told her she could have whatever she wanted “even up to half the kingdom” (Esther 5:3). Though he didn’t literally mean he would give her half the kingdom, his words assured Esther he wanted to give her the desire of her heart.
Rather than make her request known at that time, Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet. They both accepted. Haman was especially elated because, in his eyes, this invitation revealed that he was in favor with both the king and queen, playing right into his plan to do away with Mordecai and all the Jews.
Esther’s dealings with the king are measured and wise. She is patient, waiting on God’s timing to reveal what burdens her heart. Her actions bring to mind Paul’s words in Colossians 4:5-6:
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
We have the privilege of watching God’s plan for the Jews beautifully unfold in these scenes. They had fasted and prayed for an audience with the king and now they had it in Esther.
The king and Haman attended Esther’s banquet. But, rather than reveal her request, she invited them to a second banquet. I’m sure this second invitation both confused and intrigued the king.
The text doesn’t tell us why she held back her request at the first banquet, but the next chapter will make it abundantly clear. It concerns God’s providence. Our lives, and the history of the nations of the world, rest in His hands alone. He is the One who is sovereign over all things in heaven and on earth. The One who has a good and perfect plan and who unconditionally and lavishly loves and cares for His people.
Esther trusted and waited on God, trusting His plan. She willingly risked her life for the sake of something greater. And God rewarded her and her people exceedingly, abundantly above what she could have ever imagined.
Friend, if we never take the risk, never trust and wait on God to step out of our comfort zones, we will never know the fullness of the riches and blessings God has waiting for us. Esther’s story gives us the courage to take the risk because God will be with us and give us the grace and courage we need.
Prayer: Father, thank You for this day in Esther’s life. This day that encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and trust You in the wait. This day that shows me You work and prepare me in my wait. If You are calling me to step outside my comfort zone, help me take the risk, wait patiently and trust You every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Esther 5 picks up at the end of Esther’s three-day fast. Her decision to fast and pray for... Read More
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