Esther: Day 9

The King Executes Haman

by

Today's Text: Esther 7:1-10, Psalm 91:2-3, Revelation 20:11-15

Scripture Reading: Esther 7:1-10, Psalm 91:2-3, Revelation 20:11-15

Lately, I have been in a season of waiting. There is a lot of transition and change happening in the coming months, but at the moment, I feel stuck—like I’ve been running full speed, but I’ve had to come to a sudden stop. There’s a huge ravine in front of me, and I’ve reached as far as the current path will take me. I have to wait for a bridge to be built before I can cross to the other side.

But I don’t want to wait for the bridge. Waiting for the bridge to be built takes too long; it takes away my power. Still, I know with absolute certainty that I cannot build the bridge by myself; I have to wait for the Creator to build it and show me the way. Yet even with the humbling knowledge that I cannot do it on my own, I am impatient. I want the control.

At this point in her story, Esther had been doing a lot of waiting. She had to wait and see if she would be chosen queen. She had to wait for the king and Haman to come to her banquet, and then she had to wait for her second banquet before asking if the king would save her people. Esther had to wait on God’s timing instead of relying on her own.

In a book where the name of God is never directly mentioned, God’s providence and all-encompassing power appear time after time. Esther goes before King Ahasuerus, nervous and unsure, but God’s presence went before her, as it does with us (Isaiah 45:2). God continues to be our refuge and our fortress in times of uncertainty and distress (Psalm 91:2).

Though God’s presence was not explicitly stated in this scene with Esther, King Ahasuerus, and Haman, it is evident that He was there. He was there when Esther invited them to the banquet, there when she asked King Ahasuerus to save her people, and He was there in the midst of Esther’s fright and uncertainty.

Perhaps when Esther first heard of Haman’s evil plot, she might have felt as if she were standing at the edge of a ravine. Unsure of where to go next, she simply had to wait for God to build the bridge and show her the way.

And He did. He built the bridge, He led Esther across it, and He worked through Esther to save His people. God took Haman’s disastrous plan and turned it on its head, destroying Haman and restoring full life to the Jews so that they may proclaim His glory throughout the nations.

SRT-Esther-instagram Day9

Ellen Taylor was born and raised in sweet home Alabama, but has called Nashville home since 2013. She is most often found with a large iced coffee in her hand and a smile on her face. She is a lover of good books, ugly dogs, and cozy sweaters.

  • Karinthia

    Great aretlci, thank you again for writing.

  • MegESegraves

    I too, am waiting on that bridge. We’ve been trying to have a baby for almost two years and now, two miscarriages and seventeen months of waiting later we are still pacing the edge of that ravine. It’s so difficult to seek God and trust wholeheartedly but also pursue medical intervention with faith in God. It’s hard to trust and release control when you know you have to time things right and monitor in order to do that.
    I don’t know if I’m making sense…but this devotion resonated with me. Thanks.

    • Amber

      Everything you said makes sense to me. I’ve also had two miscarriages, and spent over 8 years trying/hoping to have a baby. Now, 100 months later, I’m accepting the fact that I may never conceive a child without medical intervention (I’m 33 years old, and not getting any younger!). I’ve spent many months waiting for God to build that bridge, mainly because I kept thinking that I would get pregnant again if I was patient and prayed and sought God wholeheartedly. It’s hard to give up control of the situation while knowing that every month you only have a small window of opportunity to conceive a child, and you have to make sure you take advantage of that opportunity. Trying to start a family can be such a confusing time in your life.

      • Taren

        I love both of your dedication to fighting to keep god as your first line in battle. I’m at a different type of cliff face but I know the struggle to keep him before you, and I commend you guys for fighting for that.

        Bless y’all.

        • Janette

          I am on the same side as you ladies. Had two miscarriages alteady; had medical intervention. Now, we are waiting as we trust God’s plan and response.

  • Ragnhild

    Among many other things, we are waiting for a literal bridge to be built for our entryway! This devotional could have been my exact words. It’s so hard not to be in control, I hate it. But God has been so good lately, He has answered our prayers for a job for my husband and a new home for us. So I have to remember that for the other things we are waiting for. God is in control, He is working, and I can rely on Him.

  • Oh, Liz. I said a little prayer for you.

  • I’m a first year teacher, and I’ve found this year to be so very challenging. I’m drained, anxious, and just depressed. I keep trying to seek God, but I don’t feel like I get answers. I guess I’m sitting here… Waiting for a bridge.

    • Katie’s Mom

      Teaching is hard. It requires so much emotional investment. And it can take a long time to see significant results. Stay the course. I prayed for you tonight.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi KNicole, thanks so much for sharing. We are praying for you now – for encouragement, strength and peace in your vocation. We are so grateful to have you as a part of this community. <3 – Abby, The SRT Team

    • Niesje Maccini

      I have been in that exact place. You are in a demanding and draining position. The results of your hard work may not be visible day to day but wait! Wait on the bridge that God builds to see the fruit of your labor. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

    • Jen

      Hi KNicole – I’ve been teaching for 12 years, and it is still draining and challenging, but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be trained to trust God more and more through this profession. You touch hearts and minds daily, and you may never know it at all. Use your life and teaching gift as a prayer to The Lord, and He will absolutely use you.

      I liked the image of Esther seated at the end of this passage. Christ sits on His throne because His work is finished – He rests in the completed work of salvation finished at the cross. Esther (a picture of the church of Christ) rests in the confidence that the work of salvation is complete by sitting/reclining on her couch. My prayer for you today is that you know the Spirit’s supernatural strength and vigor, and your mind, soul, and spirit can rest in the finished work. God bless you!

      • Emily

        Hi KNicole – teaching is hard and demanding but keep pressing on the rewards when your children grasp a new concept or respond to you far out way the de,ands. Know this it is hard to find greater opportunity to share God’s love than with a class of 30 children. Keep going, your first year is always hard but it does get better, you get into the routine and learn and develop your strategies each year. It might never get easier but your love for teaching children increases and your longing to see them know more about our incredible God keeps you going. Keep praying and relying on our Savior for strength, patience and energy each day.

  • Above all, Esther’s story has shown me to be patient and humble. Many times, I am not patient and probably ruin things for myself by not waiting, or surrendering my desires to God. Esther is courageous and puts her faith in God, no matter what the outcome looks like. She waits, and her patience is rewarded.

  • I have been going through a season of waiting for the past 3 years..waiting for my husband to come back to the Lord. He had been a pastor for the first 2 years of our marriage, then one day tells me he doesn’t believe in God anymore and was leaving his job as a pastor. I was shocked and crushed. Three long years later…not hearing my husband pray, not having a spiritual leader in our home, sometimes believing the lies that there is no hope– that things will never change. It hasn’t been easy, but God has been faithful. He has shown me that my faith is not dependent on my husband. That I can pray faithfully for my husband and encourage him even if it is one sided. I don’t know when it is going to happen, but I have faith that he is going to return to the Lord one day. So while I wait, I pray that the Lord continues to bring me closer to Him through this situation.

    • Kimone

      May your patience and faithfulness be rewarded in His timing. Blessings to you and your family.

    • X

      dear Liz, God will bring Him back. definitely! I believe when he is back, he will love God more than you ever imagine. because God loves your husband. He never let your husband go. remember, He’d leave the 99 for your husband. God bless you and family.

    • Tiffany

      Liz! I’m so sorry to hear this! You are doing the right thing. Esther is a good book to dwell on in this season! ❤️

    • Abbey

      Praying for you, sweet girl. He is rewarding your patience and endurance with abundant, everlasting riches.

    • MegESegraves

      My husband is also struggling with his faith. It’s a lot of things and anxiety and depression and grief are a lot of it. It’s so hard to watch and know how to help. I’m praying for you and him. Hugs

    • Melanie

      Praying for you today, Liz! Be strong in the Lord <3

  • Courtney

    This reading was just what I needed. I’m at a crossroads in life and, although I feel time is working against me, I know that the only way things will turn out positively is if I take time to listen to God and be patient as he builds that bridge. Having patience is so difficult this day and age but it’s extremely humbling and rewarding to see all of the great things that God does in your life when you trust him with your path.

  • Thank you for this! I, too, am in transition and it’s been challenging, frustrating and humbling. I find myself longing for yesterday’s that were both easy and thriving! But, I know that God has me right where He wants me and I need to be patient, quiet and teachable.

  • Ashley K

    I was in what felt like a massive waiting season this year. I prayed and prayed about it and finally it happened! However I did learn to trust God even when it’s scary to. I’ll admit I always haven’t trusted Him completely because of past events, but choosing to trust Him eventually faded that fear.

  • I am currently going through a time of waiting myself. I am not proud to admit it but I was not a firm believer in Christ until about two months ago. I had some issues with my life professionally and decided I needed a fresh start. I needed to believe in our Savior again. So, I did. I am currently unemployed. However; instead of begging for a new job and the answers on my own, I am leading it up to God to put me on the right path. I actually am seeking out options now that I am happy with and feel that God is placing me in. Anyone else have those little voices in their heads, like little cheerleaders?
    Isn’t that wonderful? It’s amazing! You can put all of your trust out on God, no matter what. He will be able to bring peace. It’s going to be okay!

    • Wendy Bramble

      Praying for you…peace, hope, and joy. It will be worth it.

    • Heather

      Yes, Ashley! He is there in our head, cheering us on, giving us peace, making it OK to not be in charge ourselves…but to remember He is our Father and He will take care of us…in His time. I’ve just been through a time of radical trust and the joy, peace, and healing that came from that for me and for those around me, is astounding. Praise the Lord! Now, I too find my self in a “what now, Lord?” Place. Yesterday, I found myself planning for all possible scenarios but today’s devotional, as always, was perfectly timed and reminded me to be alert to HIS plans, not consumed by my plans. He will show the way.

  • All throughout this book, Esther is living in uncertainty. She didn’t plan to be taken from her cousin. To be put into a palace, that I’m sure at times, felt like a prison. To be made queen. To hear of the edict that Haman made. To experience such heartache. And yet, she trusted God. We have the entire book of Esther as a reference of God’s interceding through so many ‘coincidences.’ She couldn’t have seen all of this coming and YET GOD had orchestrated this entire situation to show His never ending love for His people! How beautiful is it to know that God works in our messy situations. In our seasons of waiting and uncertainty.
    What I’m realizing is that while we may be in waiting, God isn’t. He is moving in ways we can’t see – for our good and ultimately for His glory!

    • Vanessa

      Thank you for these thoughts. This was really encouraging as I am currently experiencing a lot of doubt.

  • Brittney

    My goodness. This was the unveiling of the truth behind the lie; God has been and will be, with us during our waiting season. Even if the season is longer than the 3-4 months of what we look to as a typical season, the truth is, no matter how long the waiting season is, at every moment and turn, He is right there. Guess the old saying holds true, “In Gods timing, it always prevails”.

  • Currently going through my own period of trusting the Lord. With finances tight and life being so crazy with our 2 children, this third pregnancy has brought me joy and worry. I’ve had complications with the last 2, but so far so good. Everyday I think how are we going to do this? I know God blessed us with this baby for a reason, and I know he will take care of us, but it is very hard to pray, let it go, and trust. I’m halfway through and so far every worry I’ve had thus far has been resolved…I just keep handing it over to Him.

  • I feel God has showed me something today. He keeps burdening me with the same thing over the last couple of years yet I don’t know how I will get there. There’s no way to get to that position at the moment – it is impossible. And nothing changes. It’ll be a miracle if I do. I will wait. I hope to bring glory to him. Thank you.

  • This is exactly where I’m at right now. God has shown us the end result, but I’m not sure when and how we’re going to get there. I was voicing my anxiety about the uncertainties to my husband just before reading today’s devotional. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I’m trying to rest in His bridge building abilities and timing, not my own desire for control. Thank you for these words this morning!

  • Rachelle Bull

    I don’t know if she was reclining when delivered the news, but it seemed like Esther had complete peace and trust that God was with her and he was going to handle it. I pray that I can learn to recline during troubling times, knowing that God is in control.

    • Churchmouse

      I’ve always pictured Esther just collapsing from the weight of the gravity of her situation. Pleading for her life and the life of the nation of Israel was no small request – and especially to request so boldly in front of the enemy and conspirator Haman himself! Holy boldness surely made her knees give way!

  • PursuedByHim

    ““If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. ”

    Fortunately for us, our King is God who loves us and will spare us, many times without our asking or realizing we need to be spared.

    There have been days (lots of days) that I should have asked God to intervene-but I pushed through on my own. Yet, He intervened on my behalf! He sent Jesus Christ for my sins before I was even born! He, Jesus, sent the Holy Spirit to intervene before I thought to ask. How He loves us!

    What a great God we have!

  • Churchmouse

    You can get comfortable in the waiting. Comfortable and complacent. Ten years ago, give or take a year, I was bodyslammed by something I never saw coming. The first year of recovering was a year of silent tears. Every day. For one full year. I took refuge in the quiet, withdrawing, reading, contemplating. Hiding. Protecting. I slipped inside a bubble of my own making and I have yet to fully emerge. Oh you can hardly tell these days but I know. I immersed myself in God’s Word and He held me tight. He is still building the bridge, brick by brick, but frankly I’m a bit afraid of crossing over. I’ve grown quite comfy, thank you very much, in the bubble, in the quiet. The other side might be noisy and raucous and unsafe. It has taken this long to build the bridge I think because it takes time to repair that which was broken, to trust the process. He has been gentle with me but the time is coming when the bridge will be completed. Since He is the bridge builder, I know He will be ahead of me, laying the final brick. He will turn to me and call “Come!” He will smile and extend His hand. I will shed the bubble and walk, tentatively. I will trust that the bridge will hold and that He has made a good way for me to go. When I reach His side, He will simply walk the way with me. Just as He sat with me in the quiet, He will walk with me over the bridge and beyond. I look forward to that day. I think I do. I’m not always sure. But we’re working on it. Together.

    • Veronica

      This is beautifully said, and just the imagery I needed in my own waiting. Thank you.

    • Allie Smith

      Beautifully said…I feel the same way. Over the last four years I have built walls, and now it seems like God is taking bricks from the wall to instead construct a bridge. It is freeing, but also scary.

  • I am also blessed to be in a long waiting period. I say blessed because it is part of our training. It is a gift. It can be a struggle to know which things to do or which choices to make while I wait for the Lord’s direction. Esther had to choose to obey Mordicai and trust him and her God or to follow the custom and assumed desire of her husband the king. The Bible doesn’t say if she second guessed her choice in those days of fasting but I think my own argumentative mind would have run like a court case with attorneys prosecuting me from both sides. She seems to have remained confident of the will of God, steadfast and clear. God is good all the time and I pray He showers each of us in these times with a presence of confident trust in His leading.

  • Tochi Heredia

    I do I’m standing at the edge of a ravine. I have been in London for a week and half and, while I can see the many ways in which God has gone before me quite clearly, I have a hard time believing that things will work out in the near future period I’m standing in the edge with two options: wait for the bridge to be built or go back to where I came from.
    I don’t necessarily see returning home as a failure, but I don’t want to do things my way. I read the entire Psalm 91 and today I choose to trust that He holds my future and, with Him by my side, it’s going to be the best future possible. No matter what it looks like.

    • Molly

      Tochi, your comment made me stop in my tracks. Today marks two months since I moved to London and I feel the exact same way. It does get better, though. You just need time, as hard as that is. Praying for peace for you, friend.

  • Waiting…
    Waiting can be a a good thing…. in hindsight.. or looking back… and yet in those times of waiting in the moments of waiting, life can sometimes stand still… or it may feel like that. I know my life, sometimes felt like it, and on bad days I would ask the question… what is the point. The purpose.

    For 10 years, up until Good Friday this year, I was in a season, that felt like a lifetime, of waiting. I had been dreading, in the waiting, and if I’m honest, I had virtually put my life on hold, doing and being, but not with any real purpose… because I had made this waiting, the ‘be all and end all’ of me.
    I had been dreading an A4 envelope falling through my letterbox to tell me my time was up in the home that I had lived in for the past 20 years, where most of my memories of happier times, and great sadness had been. The envelope arrived on Maundy Thursday, but I found it on Good Friday morning. Shaking I held it for a while, fearful of those well versed words that I had imagined in my head for so long, which amounted to virtually 6 words…. ‘The house has to be sold’ which translated to I will have to move unless I could buy my ex husband out…

    But God…
    He had a plan and a purpose ALL along…
    He had gone ahead of me, He turned my mourning and worrying all those years of something that had not and clearly wasn’t going happen, only in my head, into dancing… I had been afraid so long, I had given way to dread and fear. I had wasted days, months, years worrying, when I could have been joy filled, no matter what, I could have lived a happier life, danced more, rather than in felt afraid to…

    Trusting God in the waiting is not the easiest, but He is faithful, generous and good, and His love, as He is, is for always… I am learning that His presence though sometimes seems far far away, is actually as close as my nose on my face…

    Father God, Thank you that though I had carried the spirit of fear close, you were even closer, that although I felt down, out, and uncertain, you were there to hold me up, gracious and kind, steadfast and sure. Thank you Lord God that you never fail us, because you promise the never to. Forgive me Lord, that I doubted, feared and wasted years that could have been fruitful… forgive me Lord, in the name of the One who died that I might live, your beloved Son, Jesus my Saviour I pray, with a heart full of thanks and praise… Amen.

    The A4 envelope that had been my dread for all those years, turned out to be a blessing! My ex husband, had signed over his share of the house, my home, to me!

    GOD IS GOOD. HE IS PRESENT AND WORKING EVEN IN THE QUIET TIMES, NO MATTER HOW LONG, HE IS THERE.

    Happy Tuesday Sisters. Praying abundant blessings, peace and grace over you.. with love.. xxx

    • Emily

      I loved that surprise ending, Tina! It brought tears of joy to my eyes to know that you got to see God’s faithfulness abound before your very eyes! He is always working, always moving, always hemming us in before and behind. Praise God that He knows our deepest needs and desires and is always present in the waiting♥️

    • candacejo

      What an awesome testimony of answered prayer! Even through the worry and fret, God was working all things for your good. Wow. Blessings, friend-across-the-pond ♥

    • DebbieinAZ

      So Cool! Praise God.

    • Louise

      Wonderful Tina, thank you for sharing

    • Heather(MNmomma)

      Praise God!!!!

    • Mari

      Tina!!! What a blessing!! I know the waiting must of been hard but you endured! YOU encouraged me today. I’ve been in a hard time of life and the way things look now it’s going to be a while. But if you can do it with God on your side, I know I can do it as well.

      • Nickole

        Tina!! Praise God this is why we Celebrate our God. He’s so Faithful.

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