Introducing Hadassah – The Story of Queen Esther
By Steph Nickel
How Hadassah came to be Queen Esther is a fascinating story. How she was called upon to save her people is astonishing. Steph Nickel begins a series about Queen Esther.
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Esther 2: 5-11 says, “Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai … a Benjaminite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with … He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther … for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa … Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai … And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her” (ESV).
Questions From the Book of Esther
Much of what we read in the book of Esther is troubling and takes a great deal of thought and study to work through.
- Why did Queen Vashti refuse to appear before the king and his guests? Should she have done so?
- Should the king have listened to his advisor and banished her forever from his presence?
- Is fear truly the right motivator for women to respect their husbands?
These aren’t the questions I will be focusing on as we work our way through the book of Esther, but they may be questions that cause you to dig more deeply into God’s Word, and that’s always a good thing.
How Queen Esther Came to Be
Because the queen was banished, the search began for someone to take her place. This is how Hadassah, who became known as Esther, found herself in the palace.
We may find the whole process offensive and demeaning, but God had a plan—even though Esther and her guardian, Mordecai, didn’t know what that plan was.
Esther attracted Hegai’s attention. Was it only because of her physical beauty? I don’t think so. This passage says, “The young woman pleased him and won his favor” (Esther 2:9 ESV).
Whatever attracted Hegai’s attention was all part of God’s grand design.
What can we learn from the story of Esther to this point?
The Lord does, indeed, have a plan.
As Ephesians 1:11 says, He is the One who “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (ESV).
Are you going through a difficult time? A time when you have more questions than answers? A time when you can’t see the path ahead?
Ask the Lord to enable you to obey Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (ESV).
Is there someone in your life you can turn to when you have questions about spiritual matters and day-to-day concerns?
As followers of Jesus, we are part of the family of God, the body of Christ. We truly need one another.
First Corinthians 12:4-7 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (ESV).
Did you catch that last phrase, “for the common good”?
As we read the story of Esther—and other passages in the Bible—we read about an individual or group subjugating another. We read about forced submission and God’s perspective on the subject.
We have the advantage of comparing one passage of scripture with another. We can cling to verses such as Ephesians 1:11.
And we can learn from James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” knowing the promise in verse 8 is true. It says, ”Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (ESV).
Whether Queen Esther knew it at the time or not, she was submitting to God and His plans for her life. She would see Him work out those plans in the days and months to come.
May we come to trust the Lord more with each passing day, knowing He can work out even the most difficult circumstances for our good and His glory. And may we seek wise counsel from Bible-believing brothers and sisters in Christ when we encounter those things that are difficult to understand.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.
More About Queen Esther
Photos Courtesy Of:
Beautiful Princess – xusenru
Palace – Engin_Akyurt
Oriental Princess – xusenru
Crown – lorilynnoliver
Veiled Princess – xusenru
Nathan Diaz – Power
Randy Bushey – Spiritual Warfare
Rebekah Hughes – Go Forward
Ron and Crawford – Deeper Relationships in the Church
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