What I Learned From Reading the Book of Esther

After reading and studying the book of Esther in the Bible numerous times, I've learned a few things. Before I share those with you, I encourage you to read Esther if you haven't already, before you read my comments on it. Actually, before you even read the book, you should read about these "Three Things You Should Know Before Reading the Book of Esther." Once you've read that article and the book itself, continue reading below.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Okay, I guess I already knew that "With great power comes great responsibility" before I read the book of Esther, but this principle is certainly demonstrated very clearly in the stories recorded in the book.

Take Haman as an example. He was elevated to very high position in the kingdom, right below King Xerxes himself (also known as Ahasuerus). And what did he do with his power? He made people bow before him to make him feel honored, and eventually he attempted to exterminate the entire Israelite population, just because Haman, a Jew, did not honor him by bowing down at this feet. That's not what I would call "great responsibility!"

On the other hand, notice how Mordecai handled the great power that was bestowed upon him. Before he was even in a place of great authority, he spotted an assassination attempt and brought it to the attention of the king, who quickly squelched the rebellion. So Mordecai used his little authority to save the king's life. Later on, when the King promoted him to a much higher rank, Mordecai is said to have acted responsibly in his role of power by "seeking the good of his people, and speaking peace to all his descendants" (Esther 10:3 WEB).

God's Love Never Fails

Another lesson I learned from reading the Book of Esther is that God's love toward his people never fails. The Israelites were in exile in Babylon when the events in Esther took place. They had been exiled because of their extreme disobedience and disdain toward their Father God. Yet in this time of exile, God had mercy on his people and delivered them from the evil plan of Haman. And in delivering his people, God not only demonstrated his love for his people, but he also caused his name and power to be revered among all the nations. He does the same today when he delivers us from oppression!

"In Repentance and Rest is Your Salvation..."

That's not a quote from Esther, but rather from Isaiah 30:15. And yet that truth is demonstrated very clearly in the stories recorded in Esther. God's people had an important role to play in their own deliverance. Both Esther and Mordecai lead their people (God's people) in repentance when they heard of Haman's plan of destruction. They were not repenting of sin, but they were "changing their ways" (the root meaning of "repentance"). They put on disgraceful clothing, they abstained from eating, and they dedicated their time and energy to pleading with God for deliverance and worshipping him.

Esther demonstrated that she was "resting" in Yahweh when she went boldly before the king to plead for the lives of her people. She firmly believed in Yahweh's ability to deliver, for since she was a child, she had likely heard stories of Israel's journey up till now. If she had not believed in Yahweh, she would not have had boldness in risking her life to speak with the king.

Through their acts of repentance and rest, Yahweh was able to work through Esther and Mordecai and all of Israel to work deliverance and demonstrate his love and power.

These are just a few of the lessons I learned as I read the stories recorded in the book of Esther. I encourage you to read the book of Esther several times and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you new things as you study his Holy Scriptures.
About The AuthorJonathan Hostetler lives in southern Pennsylvania. He grew up in a strong Christian family, dedicated his life completely to Jesus at the age of 9, experienced a spiritual breakthrough at the age of 15, and is now in his mid twenties, joyfully serving Yahweh and sharing Yahweh's message of salvation and hope both on the internet and in person.
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