My daughter found it on the rack at the consignment shop. A beautiful, red, royal cloak! Needless to say, she wore it home. She was a princess! No, she was the Queen. I informed her I was the Queen of the house, but she didn’t like that too much. She set up two thrones, one for her, and one for the King. And then I asked her, “What kind of Queen are you going to be? Mean and evil like some from the fairy tales?”
“No, Mama. I’m Queen Esther.”
It’s the story of fairy tales: ashes to beauty, poverty to wealth, an obscure girl becomes the beloved Queen. But Esther is not the name of a cartoon character in a movie. Esther was a real woman with blood and bones, and someone who was willing to stand for her people during a turbulent time in history.
Since the story of Adam and Eve, God has been working towards a solution for the problem called sin. His solution is written in the scriptures; every book, every event. God chose Abraham to be the father of his nation. This was to be a nation, set apart from all other nations, so God could bring salvation to His people and to the Gentiles of the world.
But Satan doesn’t like that plan. There have been times in history when the Jews have almost been wiped off the planet.
The book of Esther comes from one of these specific points in history. The name of God is never mentioned in this book of scripture, but His fingerprint is all over it. Like a piece of a puzzle, Esther fits perfectly in a specific place, at a specific time, for a specific purpose.
The place was Persia. It is important to know that the setting for the book of Esther took place after the Israelites were carried away as slaves by the Assyrians, and after the Babylonians captured the known world and exiled the Jews. Persia then took over and Zerrubbabel, Nehemiah, and Ezra returned with thousands of Jews to rebuild Jerusalem.
But Esther, who was a Jew, was in Persia, and lived in the town of Shushan where the palace of the king was located.
The King was Ahasuerus (Xerxes). His kingdom consisted of 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. One could conclude that he may have been the most powerful man in the world at this time. After choosing to de-throne his first Queen, Vashti, this man decided to find a new Queen.
Esther happened to be chosen as Vashti’s replacement.
The King had a right hand man named Haman. Because of a series of events, he decided that all of the Jews must be annihilated. All. That included Esther. He manipulated the king to send out a decree that all Jews should be destroyed. In fact, he was willing to pay 10,000 talents of silver to those who did the dirty work.
After much prayer and preparation, Esther boldly went to the King with the understanding that the King could refuse to see her and could put her to death if he was not pleased. As she approached the king, he held out his scepter to her. He was pleased and so she was able to put her plan into motion to save her people.
Not only did she save herself and her family, but a second decree was sent out which allowed the Jews in every province to defend themselves if attacked and they did.
In this world of rumors of wars, people hating other people, and children being orphaned because of disease, children must know that God created them for such a time as this. God has gifted each of His children with talents and abilities that He wants to use to reconcile the world to Himself.
Parents, it is our job to do what it takes to prepare our children for God’s purpose. This means having them in church with other believers, teaching them the scriptures in our homes, and acting out the gospel in our communities.
God has placed your specific children into your specific care for His specific purpose. When your children pretend, what type of royalty do they imitate? I encourage you to read the chapters of Esther to your children, have them design costumes, and then act out the story. Explain to them, that they too can save people, like Esther, by telling their friends about Jesus.
Learn more about Esther and 24 other heroes of the Old Testament in a brand new devotional and activity download pack – Old Testament Heroes!
Anne Marie is the author of the blog Future.Flying.Saucers. She has a passion for Bible study and teaching the Word to adults and children. On Wednesday nights you will find her teaching Biblical concepts to Awana clubs at her church. All of her Awana and Bible lessons can be found for FREE on her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.