POWER. Some have it. Some think they have it. Some want it. Some abuse it. Some use it wisely.
WISDOM. That’s the key ingredient needed when you have been given power. Wisdom comes from God.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been studying the book of Esther. It’s quite an intriguing story (true story I might add). I’ve been thinking about Esther and how she not only pushed the envelope, she pushed it all the way out of the box. Let’s take a look at her bold actions and statements as we view the marriage of King Xerxes and Queen Esther – the power couple.
Queen Esther: She had been brought with many, many other young girls to be prepared to be presented to the king. Of all the girls presented, she was the one King Xerxes chose as queen. Even so, she could not come into the King’s presence unless summoned. To go to him on her own could mean her immediate death. The only exception would be if the king granted her favor by extending his gold scepter to her. Then her life would be spared. I know…this sounds crazy in our world today here in the United States but, that was the culture. Even today if we traveled much outside of our country, we would find similar things that would seem bizarre to us. The thing was, the king was the ruler. If he gave you an order or asked you a question, you better hop to it, queen or not.
King Xerxes: He had the power. He didn’t always use it wisely. He was swayed by others. He gave power to those who used it with evil intent. He seemed quite shallow at times. His actions made me think that he was living in his own little world and didn’t realize much about what was happening around him. He had the power of life or death in his hands and could use it at will. Others were at his mercy. But even though all of these things appear true, we see glimpses of his kindness and compassion.
Here are some things that just amaze me about this power couple’s marriage story:
Esther’s boldness and courage. First of all, she did go before the king without being summoned. Not only that but when he asked her what was wrong, she didn’t answer him. Instead, she put him off by inviting him to a banquet later that day and said she would answer him then. So, at the banquet, the king asked her once again and once again, she put him off. This time until the next day. She said she would tell him if he would come to a banquet tomorrow. That next day she finally told him what was troubling her and made her request (to spare her life and the lives of her people). There is SO MUCH to this story. I hope you take a look at it again or for the first time. But, when I think about it – she not only went into the king’s presence when she could have been killed just for that. She also refused to answer him. Not once, but twice. That’s either bold courage or foolishness.
King Xerxes kindness and compassion. He certainly wasn’t always kind or compassionate. In previous chapters of the book of Esther, we find him proud and easily led. But, in this part of their story, he looks upon Esther with kindness and grants her favor. First of all, he doesn’t have her killed for daring to come to him uninvited. Then when he asked her a question, she refused to answer but put him off instead, not only once, but twice! Still I can just feel the kindness and care he has for her dripping off the pages. He seemed really concerned about her needs or wishes. It wasn’t “all about him” this time. It was about her.
So, it makes you wonder doesn’t it? What changed Esther, the young innocent girl to the bold and courageous Queen Esther? What changed the prideful and self-indulgent King Xerxes into the compassionate husband? The key is found in Esther 4:15-17. The key is GOD – fasting and praying to GOD, the only one who can change hearts and situations. He can turn what we see as our worst nightmare into our greatest triumph. He can change a heart of stone into a compassionate heart of flesh. He can turn a coward into a brave warrior. Simply – GOD can!
The next time you feel like God is leading you to something, be brave dear friend. If God calls us to something, He will provide. We can count on it because we can count on Him. I pray for the giving and receiving of blessings for you today.