People all around us, even government leaders, are deliberately breaking God’s laws. Do you ever wonder what your purpose is in such a sinful world?
In the Old Testament, we read about Esther, a young Jewess living in Shushan, Persia, now known as Iran. Jews scattered throughout Persia after King Cyrus freed them from Babylonian captivity. Many returned home to Jerusalem, but some, like Esther’s family, stayed in Persia. After Esther’s parents died, she was adopted by her uncle, Mordecai. She lived a simple life and was not well known in Shushan.
Shushan was ruled by an ungodly king called Ahasuerus, who separated from his wife, Vashti, after she refused to entertain the king and his friends at a royal party. He wanted a new queen, so he invited young women from all over the kingdom to meet him. Mordecai sent Esther to the palace, but told her to keep her heritage a secret because many Persians did not like Jews. When Esther came to appear before the king, he loved her more than all of the other women and made her queen. Esther, once unknown, was now recognized by the whole kingdom! However, she still held a secret: she was a Jew.
One day, Esther’s maids told her that Mordecai had torn his clothes and was running through the city, sobbing. Haman, one of the king’s most important leaders, had ordered all Jews in Persia to be killed, including women and children. Mordecai overheard Haman’s plan at the palace gate where he sat daily. So, Mordecai sent word to Esther that she must tell the king Haman’s evil plot. Esther was afraid. According to royal custom, she could only see the king if he called for her. If she went uninvited, he might kill her. But, if he held out his golden scepter to her, she was welcome in his presence. Mordecai begged Esther to understand that she had been crowned queen “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). As queen, she could save her people from destruction.
Courageously, Esther went before the king. Imagine her fear! Mercifully, King Ahasuerus held out his golden scepter to her
and told her she could ask for anything, up to half the kingdom. What relief for Esther!