Day 1

The King’s Decree

from the Esther reading plan

Esther 1:1-22, Psalm 32:7-11, Proverbs 19:12

BY Jasmine Holmes

When I was younger, I would often daydream about what I would say when I accepted the biggest award of my life. I may have gone back and forth over the biggest dream I could imagine, but that thank-you speech never changed. I had to practice, after all, because once I stepped into the light and stared into the camera, I was liable to forget exactly who I wanted to thank. We’ve all seen those acceptance speeches where the winner sputters inanely until a canned music cue hurries them offstage, and they forget to thank the most important people and influences in their life. 

To the uninitiated, the book of Esther can read like a winner who has forgotten to give credit where credit is due. It’s a sweeping story of rescue jam-packed with harrowing plot points that are filled with suspense, cunning, and betrayal. And yet, it could appear that the author, blinded by the light of sharing that amazing story, forgot to give honor where honor was due. Nowhere in the pages of Esther is God mentioned, yet from the very first chapter, God’s hand is stunningly apparent. The God who sways the heart of kings (Proverbs 21:1), steps into the story of King Ahasuerus and his wife Vashti and begins to set things in motion for the rescue of His people. A seemingly innocuous event—the worldly banquet of a successful king—sets the stage for the rescue of Israel. 

When King Ahasuerus’s anger burns against his wife, his counselors soothe his troubled mind by declaring that “her royal position is to be given to another woman who is more worthy than she” (Esther 1:19). That single phrase points the king toward the search that will eventually lead him to Esther, a young Jewish girl in his kingdom. The God who turns the hearts of kings was about to turn Ahasuerus’s favor toward one of His daughters, and that favor would change the course of history (Proverbs 19:12).

The real storyteller here isn’t the author of Esther. The name of the Lord isn’t a detail he simply forgot to include. It is, rather, the Lord who is writing the story. He is the one laying the plans, guiding the narrative, and guarding His people (Psalm 37:8–9). He is at the heart of this narrative, carefully choreographing the ultimate protection of His people. 

That story isn’t just about the temporal saving of Israel from the plot that will soon brew at the heart of this book’s narrative; it’s about the saving of God’s people, a deliverance that is central to the narrative of the whole of creation. King Ahasuerus is looking for a worthy bride; this bride will end up being a savior of Israel. We are looking for a worthy King; His name is Jesus, and He is the Savior of His Bride. 

God is not forgotten in the book of Esther. He is central to both the story itself as it unfolds, and in the telling of that story to generations. And He provides the worthy King we need in the person of His Son.

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Post Comments (273)

273 thoughts on "The King’s Decree"

  1. Kourtni Vargas says:

    One of my favorite books. Looking forward to the rest of this ❤️

  2. liz leeper says:

    I love the book of Esther, so excited to dive deeper into it!

  3. Jaquessia Lawson says:

    Lord, thank you for always being behind the seems even though it doesn’t feel that way.

  4. Claire McKoy says:

    One of my favorite books of the Bible! Excited for this study.

  5. Pam Stayer says:

    Love how God writes the story!

  6. Fantazia .. says:

    I was looking for guidance with my 13 year old daughter who is really struggling and the book of Esther repeated popped up numerous times in one day for me. This will be my first time actually reading a book in the Bible and prayerfully will shed some

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