Esther: Day 5

Esther Approaches the King

by

Today's Text: Esther 5:1-14, Proverbs 16:18, Mark 6:14-29

Scripture Reading: Esther 5:1-14, Proverbs 16:18, Mark 6:14-29

It was a dinner party with an enviable guest list. Sitting at the head of the table were hosts Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, and his wife, Jane. In charge of passing the bread baskets was their friend George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, as well as Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the guests of honor.

It was sometime in the ‘80s and there was reason to celebrate. Dick and Jeana had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping.

After the dessert had disappeared from their plates and they’d heard story after story about Dick and Jeana’s worldwide adventure, Jane Eisner raised the question many of us would have asked. “Well, now that you’ve accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?”

Without hesitation, Dick responded, “I’m going to Disneyland!” Without hesitation, Jane responded, “That’s a good slogan.” And so it was.

From the 1987 Super Bowl on, the answer to, “You won! What are you going to do now?” became “Disneyland.” And yet, when we watch sports reporters ask this question, it always seems a little silly, doesn’t it? Because after the Gatorade coolers have been thrown, and the trophies have all been shined, the athletes already have exactly what they were after in the first place: victory. What else could a Super Bowl champion possibly need?

In the books of Esther and Mark, we find two very different women who happen to have their king’s ear—Esther and Herodias’s daughter. Both women are asked a remarkably similar question: “What is it you want? Whatever you want, even if it’s half the kingdom, will be done” (Esther 5:3; Mark 6:23, my paraphrase).

The similarities between their stories stop there. Overwhelmed with possibility, Herodias’s daughter consults her mother, asking what desires she ought to demand, and they soon decide on their perfect request: John the Baptist’s head. On a platter. Perhaps she believed that for them, the most beneficial and powerful thing that could happen would be the destruction of God’s people. Her choice reeks of pride.

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
- Proverbs 16:18

Esther, on the other hand, asks the king and Haman to attend a banquet where she herself will be the one preparing the platters. This probably seemed like a strange request, even to Esther. But instead of dreaming about the riches that could be hers, she keeps her heart close to the Lord’s. Esther believes the most beneficial and powerful thing that could happen to her is the rescue of her people—of God’s people. Her request is steeped in humility.

Esther lives from a rooted belief in the kingdom that’s already been won for her. She makes choices based on riches she’s already received. Because she trusts in the King on High, she takes joy in making herself low. What else could a beloved daughter of the King possibly need?

Maybe we need to be asking each other new questions as we gather around our own dinner tables. After all, we’ve already been given the kingdom. Now, how will we act? What will we do next?

May those questions lead us to respond with humility. May they lead us back, again and again, to the heart of the Father.

SRT-Esther-instagram Day5

  • I am always amazed at the way SRT is able to connect Bible passages. The supplemental readings are always so perfectly fit for the main reading, and today this comparison from Esther and Mark was incredible! What you have all done for me is showed the amazing consistency in Gods Holy Word. Through all the years and different authors, there is just so much perfect consistency. Everything leads back to one Truth. I wish we could bring more non-believers to this site!!

  • I really needed a new study and I had never really read the book of Esther. I decided to just read this book, without really knowing why. As a I read more, God is showing me time and time again just why I needed to read this book and do this study! Thankful for a God who loves me so much He would help me tear down the prideful walls I have built around myself.

  • ❤️

  • I’m asking for a miracle! Life is still so hard. I’m so thankful for all who are covering me with prayers. My Father God is my strength. I can’t imagine doing life without Him, my supportive family, and all my sisters at church and here at SRT. I just want this part of my life to be over however it’s actually going to get harder before it gets better. Continued prayers are appreciated especially for my 2 beautiful children.

    • kathryn macleod

      Mari I will say a prayer for you,that this season of your life becomes easier.

    • Jenny

      Prayers to you, Mari..

    • Kristi

      Praying for you, Mari. I just happened to read the He Reads Truth devotional for today, which is on the same scriptures and thought it would be comforting for you to read today. Here’s the link if you would like to check it out: http://hereadstruth.com/2017/11/03/esther-approaches-the-king/

      I especially loved this little excerpt:

      “God, in His providence, directed the heart of the king to accept Esther’s request and led Haman to joyfully construct gallows that would eventually lead to his own undoing.

      The Lord was working in Esther’s crisis. That thought never even occurred to Haman. Esther, on the other hand, had no choice but to trust that God was present and to humbly follow where He led, even though the way seemed dark.”

      Praying that you will take comfort in the amazing truth that even in the darkness, God is with us. He is still there with you and He is working in every situation for your good (Romans 8:28).

    • Amanda

      Sending prayers up for you and your children.

      • Mari

        Thank you Amanda! Just got home from my sons last football game and they WON! We’re thankful for the little things in life

    • Cathy

      May you feel His presence during these tough days. And then you will surely get through them. Blessed.

  • Debbie L

    Amen!! Thank you, ~B~! You have made me realize that I need “to go before my King and ask for the things that really bend my heart, to not belittle my “asks” but instead have enough faith to believe that God desires grand things for me.” Well said!! Thank you for your insights and encouraging words!

  • My thoughts go to Esther’s shrewdness. She cooked up a plan to flatter and woo Haman and the king, to get them drunk a few nights in a row, to entertain them, and to win their sustained favor for this big ask. She’s no dummy. Yes, she is humble. But in that humility she is active, not passive. I think we often mistake passivity for humility. But Jesus says we should be “shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves,” and I think Esther is a great example of that. She is a warrior for justice, and she fights with feminine wiles and really great parties. Perhaps we don’t have to be lawyers or outspoken advocates to fight for justice, but we use our best resources and work the culture around us to fight for what is good.

    One super easy example: throw a Noonday Collection or Trades of Hope party before Christmas and get your friends to buy cuuuute jewelry made by women pulled out of sex trafficking who are seeking new life!

  • Tricia C

    Thank you for this reminder. I too am often afraid to step outside my comfort zone and ask God for the big things. You know what my “big things” are right now? That my three adult children and my toddler grandchildren would come to know Christ as Lord and Savior. That is my deepest longing and request.
    Everyone have a blessed weekend!

    • Jenn

      Praying for this with you

      • Cathy

        Adding my prayers for their salvation. I have those same prayers for my own children as sometimes I regret my faith didn’t grow till after they were grown…but I know God will answer those prayers in God’s perfect timing…not mine.

  • Esther had a big “ask”. Her strength in stepping forward it inspiring yet for many of the earlier years of my faith I didn’t ask for much. I thought it most humble to just accept what seemed to be my “lot in life” and I would pray for strength to go through it, for guidance and for protection but I didn’t ask for “big things” because I trusted in God’s will for my life. It wasn’t until much later that God made clear to me that He wanted to hear from me. Unlike Esther, I didn’t have to wait for permission to enter His presence with a big ask, I could just step forward and inquire. He WANTED to give me big things. He wanted me to have the strength to ask for what my heart desired. He wanted me to know that it wasn’t a vain thing to ask, He cared about my heart about my desires. Sometimes, I find, I still forget this; my nature, from very early on, is an accepting one, so when going through something my default can tend to be the standards … prayer for protection, strength, etc … But I have to remember Esther, she didn’t just accept the decree and pray for her people, she didn’t just go through the experience feeling like there was nothing she could do about it, she came forward seeking change, coming before her king with a really really big need. Esther is a great example to me to go before my King and ask for the things that really bend my heart, to not belittle my “asks” but instead have enough faith to believe that God desires grand things for me. Prayerful today that I remember God’s love over me and that I don’t fear asking for things outside of the “basics”. :)

    • Kimone

      I can relate to this so much. Thank you. Be blessed as you ask for the grand things.

      • Amanda

        Beautifully said and much appreciated words! God wants to know the desires of our hearts so that he can mold our desires and give us the things we never thought possible.

  • Virginia

    Thanks for sharing your testimony and prayer Tina. You lifted my spirit to aligned in God Spirit. Myself had lots of haunting baggage needs freeing end. I turned 62 today, SRT community is a gift to me. ❤️❤️❤️

  • As I think about Esther’s courage and boldness, I think about how much courage and boldness I lack. Even thinking about approaching the King to make such a huge request makes me squirm. I realized though, a lot of people I know have the perception that they cannot approach God, our King on high, with bold requests. God reminded me that when I am approaching Him, I can be completely confident: “In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness of free access–an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear.” (Ephesians 3:12). As I stand before the doors, wondering if I should approach the King, the answer is always yes. He wants me to come in, wants me to make big requests.

  • Churchmouse

    When my eyes are on my material possessions or when I am seeking contentment in the things I have, I woefully minimize the spiritual riches that abound. I sit in the mud with my earthly things, wondering what more might make me “happy.” I forget that I actually sit in a fine robe with more than I could think or imagine (Eph 3:20). I don’t know if Esther was truly courageous or if she was resigned to “if I perish, I perish.” I don’t know if she pondered whether death was a better option than being queen. Whatever, she presented herself and took the risk. Today, I determine to get out of the mud and truly value what Christ has done for me and given to me. May I prize His gifts more than these temporary earthly ones. May I be grateful for what I have and use them to bless others. May I take the risk that as I share an earthly gift, I offer a heavenly one as well and tell them about the greatest Giver. Whatever the outcome, let me be willing.

  • Marianne

    Hm, humility is one thing. Yes, Esther acted humbly towards the King once she was granted access. But in the first place she had to muster all courage she possessed. She was willing to risk her life for her people. This is what stands out to me most in her story.
    What am I willing to risk? Am I rooted firmly in Him and does this fuel me to give all, no matter the cost?

  • I have never been one to have great ambition… I have always thought myself mediocre. Nothing more, nothing less. I have, I think, often believed I have not been worthy to dream big. I have not deserved it, or believed I was not made to dream.
    I think long before, I met with God, though for the wrong reasons, I thought and had some sort of humility for others, I don’t think for one moment it was the reverence for the Lord kind, but others interests were always on my heart. I would no more back then, have asked for ‘someones head on a platter’, than I would have the bravery to ask help. I was scared, yet, for no reason. I was alone, even in what I know to be a happy childhood with my dad and brother, grandma and cousins.

    Oh my goodness!

    My stepmother didn’t like me, but adored my brother. She would say horrible things to me, and treat me differently to my brother. He got love and attention, I got abuse, mentally. I was 4.
    When someone tells you often enough, that you are nothing, and their actions show you they don’t like you, you begin to believe and go inward, even at 4. Its that mechanism that we humans use to stop the hurt, the pain, the sadness. I often sat quietly in your room til daddy came home, then I’d smile and take a deep sigh for the savior of my day that was my dad.

    Fast forward to today, and this study, that little girl is still here, still lives in me. Maybe in the deep deep parts of me, but she still hides, afraid to ask for the simplest of things, let alone ‘ the head of someone on a plate…’
    Tears stream down my face freely, as I recall those early days of my childhood that I had buried 54ish years ago, that have now surfaced … answers to many questions that have stumped me in the past…

    But God..

    As He has brought this to mind, as a work He has began, I know He will now see it through to its completed freeing end…
    Thank you Lord God.. thank you for showing and beginning the removal of another layer of my story that was not written by you.. thank you for being near to those who call on you, who call on you in truth.. thank you Lord God for this work that you have began, and I pray that with the help and guidance of your Word and others in prayers and counselling, there will be a complete freeing end. With praise and thanks in the Mighty name of Jesus, Lord I pray… Amen.

    I am not Esther. I am Tina, the daughter of a Heavenly Father, The Most High King, who loves me, would die for me, and did. He protects me, and surprises me from time to time… He provides for me, why do I need to ask for anyones head, for pride, for stature, for recognition, or to make me feel like someone… eh hum,
    I AM SOMEONE.

    I AM THE DAUGHTER OF THE MOST MOST HIGH GOD.!

    I sit under the shelter of the Most High, and I say of the Lord, my God… You are my God, my God in whom I trust, And I can approach Him, my Heavenly Father, anytime .. In prayer. In praise. In worship. In need…

    Amen.

    Sharing the Blessing of the Lords’ grace and favour with you my Sisters.. with love. Xxx

    • PursuedByHim

      Tina, thank you for sharing. It reminds me of times that were painful to me also and reshaped my behavior. I Ann so grateful that I can say, we are all daughters of the King! Praise God for His enlightenment today and for the freedom and safety His love brings. Thank God for the knowledge that no matter what happens on this earth, we are important to Him and He loves us completely, forever!

    • Churchmouse

      Oh Tina I can relate to those powerful feelings of “not enough.” In a family where sons were favored (there were five) and daughters were second class, it was ‘natural’ to assume the role of less-than. It was reinforced for years. It was not an easy childhood and there are struggles yet today. How grateful I am that my hand holds tight to the perfect Father . He has more than made up for what was lacking. His words are always loving and His arms are always open. I pray you fall into His embrace and feel the depth of His care for YOU.

    • Alisa

      Thank you, Tina, for sharing. Truth shines in your story here. I rarely comment here, usually keeping my thoughts confined to my journal. However each day I look forward to reading your thoughts. They pull together my random ones and encourage me daily. Being an encourager *and* a daughter of the one, true King is a gift. Thank you for listening to Jesus!

    • Mamajonk

      Wishing I could reach across the pond and wrap my arms around you. Your words are such a blessing to us all. I too, look forward to your comments and though our stories may not be the same, I find your thoughts always bless my heart. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Alexis

      Thank you for this. Your story resonates with me so much. From a young age I too was told that I was “not enough”. After reading this, I was able to go to God in prayer and address my own pain and He comforted my heart. He reminded me that the belief that I am nothing or not enough are lies and comes from the pit of hell. He then showered me with his truth. I am enough. I am loved. I am his. I am light; his light that lives in me. How awesome is our Father, to erase the lies from the enemy and cleanse our soul with his truth? Thank you God. <3

    • Mari

      Tina, started reading your comments just before I had to drop off my son to school this morning. I have maybe a few more minutes before I have to attend to a bunch of little kiddos around here. Your story touched me greatly! So glad that you had your earthly daddy. Mine passed away about nine years ago. He was amazing. I miss him every day. Most of all so grateful that we all have our heavenly father.
      Life for me has been so hard last three months and just got harder. I am so grateful to all the Godly women around me and all the Godly women here at SRT that keeps me going. I can’t imagine doing life without any of you.

    • Jenny

      Thank you for sharing your story, Tina! How sorry I am that you faced such abuse growing up, but how glad I am to know you found saving grace in our Lord! God doesn’t cause pain in life, humans do, but He is always there to pick up the pieces and put us back together!

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