The book of Esther is an amazing little story of God’s provision in a pagan land. God uses Esther and Mordecai, faithful servants, to preserve his people. After Queen Vashti was ejected, the door opened for the choosing of a new queen. While a lot happens in chapter two, there are two verses that stuck out to me.
First, we see in verse 17 that “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen.” However, back in verse 10 it says that “Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known.” The question is, would the king have loved Esther had he known her completely?
Although the king “loved” Esther, he did not know her. Until it later becomes revealed, he did not know of her Jewish descent. The fear in this pagan land was that if she was known as one of “those people” she would be rejected, maybe despised, and certainly not chosen as queen.
Although King Xerxes (aka Ahasuerus) did not know Esther, and chose her; God knew Esther and had chosen her too. Although Jewish, Esther was not really living according to the Law. By Law Esther was not to marry a pagan (Deut. 7:1–4) or have sexual relations with a man who was not her husband (Ex. 20:14), and yet she did. Also, unlike Daniel who refused to eat unclean food, Esther ate what she received (2:9).
As I read this passage I cannot help but think about Romans 5:6–11:
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
God’s love has nothing to do with our goodness. We don’t have to hide anything from God, He already knows! Esther (just like you and me) was chosen in spite of herself. Her culture had swallowed her up to the point where she was indistinguishable from a pagan. Yet God inspired faith in her and challenged her to trust Him that she might save her people. In the same way, although our culture often influences us, we must submit to God’s standard, rather than the world’s standard. In doing so, by being a light in a dark world, maybe some may be saved through our witness (Ro 10:14–15).
In the comments tell us what encourages you by the fact that God knows you completely, yet loves you anyway?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate