Wednesday, October 18

Esther 5:1-8 (ESV)

Esther Prepares a Banquet

5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, in front of the king's quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. 2 And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. 3 And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” 4 And Esther said, “If it please the king,[a] let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” 5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. 6 And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”[b] 7 Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: 8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king[c] to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

Esther 7English Standard Version (ESV)

7 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. 2 And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “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. 4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.”5 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared[a] to do this?” 6 And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Haman Is Hanged

7 And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. 8 And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows[b] that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman's house, fifty cubits[c] high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.

Reflection

The book of Esther tells the story of Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, who are among many Jews living in Persia almost 500 years before the birth of Jesus. The king of Persia has made Esther his queen. Not knowing her Jewish identity, the king decrees that all the Jews will be put to death. Esther is understandably afraid to tell the king that she is Jewish, but her uncle advises her to be truthful. “Who knows?” Mordecai asks. “Perhaps you have come to royalty for just such a time as this.” Maybe, Mordecai thinks, maybe you were born just for this one day, a day in which you can save your people. I won’t tell you what happens – but you can read the short ten-chapter book to find out!

As modern-day disciples, our stories don’t seem as dramatic as Esther’s, but we can find ourselves being “the one” at the right time and place to be used by God – just like Esther was. The next time you think to yourself, “Somebody should say something,” or “Somebody should do something,” maybe you need your own personal Mordecai – someone to suggest that God could be calling.

We are living in such an unsettled time. Who knows? Perhaps we have come for such a time as this – sent to be and make disciples of Jesus – sent to grow in relationship with Christ, with each other, and with our community. Who knows? God does.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, work in me. Give me eyes to see, truly see those in need. Give me ears to hear, truly hear cries of suffering. Give me a heart to love, truly love my neighbors. Give me wisdom to hear your call when it is “my time” to answer. In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Written by Pastor Pam Mitcham Pastor of Community Care pmitcham@stjohns-springfield.org