Day 5: Chapter 5
By now, Esther has been queen for many years. It’s easy to read books of the Bible and think these stories unfolded in the same time span that it takes for us to read them. But… Esther has shown her character and trustworthiness to Xerxes over a few years In fact, she has so much favor in his eyes that he is willing to give her half of the kingdom. Then… Esther delays answering him, and makes him ask three times. Now, that’s having some pull with the king. Xerxes was used to people answering right away, and doing what they were told. Esther means “star” and she certainly shone with wisdom.
Why is Esther delaying? We are not told. Perhaps she wants to tell the King in a public place. Perhaps she is still deciding exactly what to say. Stay tuned!
Remember, too, that Esther had saved his Xerxes’ life by telling him about a plot against him. God is now using that situation to give Esther the clout she needs so that Xerxes will listen to her. This is a great example of how God uses difficult situations to work for our good.
The story turns to Haman at the end. What do you think of him here? Notice how his wife and friends rally around him. Are they sincere? Do they really think he is doing the right thing? Were the gallows really 75 feet high?
“If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet.” ~ Esther 5:8
Questions to ponder:
- When have you realized, many years later, that God used a bad situation for good?
- Have people used their influence for or against you? How did it work out?
- Do you ever exaggerate like Haman does?
- Is it significant that a woman saves the Jews?
- Why is Haman going to be invited to the banquet?