The Book of Esther Bible Study
by Alrinda Mulder
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
- Esther 4:14
If you are familiar with Esther's story, you know that Esther was certainly an unlikely candidate to become the queen of Persia.
First of all, she was a Jew, and second, she was an orphan. Her history and unfortunate circumstances did not give her any right to marry a king, but God called and chose Esther to a position of influence. God appointed her for a difficult and dangerous calling, to free His people (Jews) from destruction. Esther's calling was so significant, she also needed thorough preparation. Without proper preparation, she could have failed in her responsibilities or she even could have failed God. But Esher thoroughly prepared herself and because she had an obedient and willing heart, she succeeded victoriously and gloriously.
Just as Esther, we are all called and have a divine calling upon our lives. But the word of God clearly states:
For many are called, but few are chosen.
- Matthew 22:4
Many of us do not have a willing heart to do Abba Father's will. To be led out of your own will, into Abba Father's will, isn’t always a very comfortable place for many to be.
Jesus said the following in Matthew 16:24 -25:
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it."
A.W Pink said:
Taking up my 'cross' means a life voluntarily surrendered to God.
This is exactly what Matthew 16 means. We must be willing, it must come from the depths of our hearts as we passionately seek to pursue Him.
Just like Esther needed to prepare for many, many months before she could enter the chambers of the king, so, we also need preparation to fulfil our significant calling and to reach our divine destiny in Christ Jesus. This is where you will allow yourself to journey with Abba Father and allow Him to prepare you. Preparation never comes easy as it at times can mean many things such as various trials and tribulations etc. may come your way. It will be challenging at times, but Abba Father will lead you into His chambers (His presence) and keep you safe. We can always rely on and find our comfort in God's faithful and steadfast promises to us in His Scriptures:
'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.'
-2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Abba Father truly desires for you to come away with Him. Firstly, HE will draw you away for Himself to live a set-apart life. To live a set-apart life where you draw yourself away from everything else (distractions of the world and fleshiness) and draw closer to Him through a journey of purification and sanctification of the heart. This at times will mean difficulty. It will not always be easy, but this will let you enter into the King’s chambers = Intimacy with your Bridegroom.
The place where you will set your eyes upon your beloved and Your beloved upon you (dove’s eyes) and you will find favour in the sight of the Most High King and in all your ways acknowledge Him and you shall be blessed. He will give you the desires of your heart if you will truly surrender all to Him, trusting Him to do the leading and guidance in your life: "
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."
- Psalm 37:4-5
When your heart is willing and obedient to do what Abba asks of you to do, victory is sure. So don’t settle to be a maidservant, when you were called to be a Queen.
'But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; '
- 1 Peter 2:9
I pray that Abba will do the same for you as for Queen Esther.
That the beauty of Abba Father's grace and favour will shine upon you and that you will receive favour in the sight of everyone you meet. To give you a heart willing and obedient to do HIS will, no matter the cost. That HE will circumcise your heart and that He will teach you His ways according to the totality of HIS Word for HE is the Way, the Truth and Life. And let's thank Abba Father, that a day is coming, that He will bring to fulfilment every beautiful promise He has for your life.
Let's look at the deeper meaning of the Book of Esther:
The Book of Esther gives us no hints of who the author is, but we do know it takes place in the Persian era/period, 331 - 539 BC.
It was written during the Jewish exile.
The Book of Esther is written outside of the Promised land.
The Jews were allowed to return to the Promised land, but very few chose to return, because of the prosperity and luxury of Persia.
The Book of Esther is about the Jews who chose to stay in Persia and not to return to the Promised land.
Well, we know one thing for sure, if all the Jews did return to the Promised land we never would have had the Book of Esther.
The Book of Esther is unusual for 2 reasons:
1.) Along with the Book of Ruth, it is the only two books named after women.
2.) Along with the book Song of Solomon, it is the only two Books God's name is not mentioned directly.
The Book of Esther is a major chapter in the struggle of the people of God to survive in the midst of a hostile world. The Book of Esther shows how God has kept His promise at every stage of history. We can truly trust God to protect us from the enemy, satan, and to work out His ultimate purpose of redemption in our lives.
The Book of Esther also teaches us a valuable lesson about the sovereignty of God:
although the enemies of the Covenant People may triumph for a season, He (Yahweh) holds the key to the ultimate victory now and forever.
It also encourages us even though God's face might seem hidden from us at times, that HE will still provide and take care of us. God is always behind the scenes working, shifting and directing His people.
While we might not see God's face in the Book of Esther, we do see His hand everywhere.
Let's look at the meaning of her names:
1.) Esther: 'star' or 'something hidden'
(The name Esther was to disguise herself as a Jew)
2.) Hadassah (Jewish name) : 'myrtle' =
a green plant with glossy white aromatic flowers. Myrtle has been a symbol of love and has also become an emblem for marriage.
The theme of the Book of Esther is: God's providence
The Book of Esther teaches us about the providence of God.
Providence means the protective care of God and also timely preparation for future eventualities.
Providence comes from the same stem family as provide and it simply means that God will provide.
It also consists of two other root words:
'before' and 'video' = God sees beforehand and orchestrates events to accomplish His purpose.
So as we can see recorded in the Book of Esther, that the entire Jewish nation would have been slain had it not been for the providence of Abba Father.
The outline of the Book of Esther:
Chapter 1: The wife (Vashti) who refused to obey her husband
Chapter 2: The beauty contest to choose a new queen
Chapter 3: Haman and anti-Semitism (extreme hate towards Jews)
Chapter 4: For such a time as this
Chapter 5: The sceptre of grace and the nobility of Esther
Chapter 6: When the King could not sleep at night
Chapter 7: The man who came for dinner (Haman), but died on the gallows
Chapter 8: The message of hope that went out from the King.
Chapter 9 & 10: The institution of the Feast of Purim (every year on this feast the Jews will read the Book of Esther)
Mordecai, Esther's cousin who adopted her after the death of her parents was as a parent to Esther, but also a mentor to her.
He was leading and guiding her. This teaches us and shows us that even leaders need mentors.
Mordecai means: 'warrior'
We read that Esther faster 3 days and 3 nights.
The number 3 represents divine wholeness, completeness and perfection.
If there was ever a desire to highlight an idea, thought, event or anything noteworthy in the Bible for prominence, the number 3 was used to put a divine stamp of competition or fulfilment on it.
*Also, we see Yeshua being in the grave 3 days and nights (Someone much greater than Esther gave HIS life so that we all might have everlasting life)
Also, note that the Esther fast is a Biblical fast where no food or drink (beverages) is consumed. Water is allowed, but in some cases also water was not even consumed as we see with Yeshua in the desert and also Moses etc.
*All Biblical fasts are always without food and drink and in some cases water as well.
Esther's beauty preparations were 12 months:
The number 12 is a symbol of faith, the church and divine rule or order.
*Also we see the 12 sons (tribes) of Jacob (Israel) and Jesus with His 12 disciples.
David Pawson wrote the following in the book Unlocking the Bible:
At the end of the Book of Esther, we see that Yahweh preserved the Jews through Esther.
The moral of the story is, if you want to wipe out God's people, you will need to wipe out God first! (meaning it is completely impossible.) God preserves His people. We may die for Him, but we are still preserved for Him. So we can be confident that there will always be an Israel and there will always be a Church.
One person can make all the difference. God uses men and women, and we are all in exile. Christians don't belong in this world. We are all misfits because our citizenship is really in heaven.
*Please note this is a partial study of the Book of Esther as it is not possible to share everything in this study.
Please feel free to join the Warrior Woman Bible studies on Tuesday evenings at 21:00 UAE time / 19:00 SA time, as we discuss the Scriptures in full depth.
All are welcome!
Mercy, peace and love
be multiplied to you,
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
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