The book of Esther is a rags-to-riches story of a slave girl whose faith and prophetic revelations led her to become the heroine who saved the Persian Jews from annihilation. God equipped Esther with the beauty and intelligence to become queen and worked behind the scenes to place her in the king’s palace “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Her story began between 518 and 465BC when King Xerxes reigned over Persia. Esther was born in captivity after the Babylonians captured Jerusalem. Mordecai, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin and an older cousin to Esther, had taken her in when her father and mother died. When King Xerxes becomes displeased with his current wife, he proclaims an edict to expand his harem. Esther is taken to the king’s palace, but Mordecai forbids her to reveal her nationality. She is chosen for the harem, and because of her great beauty, she won the king’s highest approval and became his queen.

After King Xerxes promotes a noble named Haman to the highest position in his royal staff, Mordecai refuses to bow down to him. Haman is enraged and issues an edict to eradicate all the Jews who reside in the kingdom. Mordecai sends Esther a copy of the edict and instructs her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead for her people.

But to approach the king without being summoned, Esther risked death by law. After three days of fasting, Esther went to the king’s inner court. When he saw her, the king was pleased, saying that whatever she wanted, she would have. The story does not end there. But as we read through the book of Esther, we see how the almighty hand of God orchestrates all things in the right time and place to serve His greatest purpose. Esther is an example of bravery; she faced fear and did what was right, and God was faithful.

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