Devotional for December 21st

Then he sent back an answer. He said, “You live in the king’s palace. But don’t think that just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape. What if you don’t say anything at this time? Who knows? it’s possible that you became queen for at time just like this.”

Esther 4:13-14

PAUSE: Esther found herself in a situation where she would have to trust God even though it would be really hard. There was a king who ruled over the land of Persia, King Xerxes. King Xerxes was looking for a wife, so he had his servants search the land for the most beautiful women. Esther was one of the women chosen. She was raised by her cousin named Mordecai, who was a faithful and godly man. He was like a father to her. Mordecai and Esther were Israelites, also known as Jews. In order to protect Esther, Mordecai told her to keep her Jewish background a secret. Out of all of the women in the kingdom, the king liked Esther the best! She became his wife, the queen, and went to live in the palace. There was an evil man, named Haman, who was in charge of all the royal officials. He wanted everyone to bow to him. But cousin Mordecai would not bow to him. Mordecai would only bow to God. As a result, Haman did not like Mordecai. When Haman discovered that Mordecai was a Jew he planned to destroy him. He lied, and told the king that the Jews were not obeying the laws and they should be punished. The king agreed to have the Jews punished because he believed Haman. The king did not know that Queen Esther, his beloved wife, was a Jew.  Mordecai told Queen Esther of Haman’s evil plan and asked her to go to the king and plead for the lives of the Jews. He thought the king would listen to her since he loved her. But Queen Esther was afraid. She knew that if she approached the king she could be put to death. The only way her approach to the king would be accepted was if he extended his golden scepter to her. She could die if the king did not hold out his golden scepter. Mordecai encouraged Queen Esther and told her, “Maybe God has made you queen at this moment so you can save the lives of the Jewish people!” She knew the only way to save the Jewish people would be for her to intercede for them.

When it was time for Queen Esther to speak to the king, she went to the inner court of the palace and stood in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his throne and when he saw Queen Esther, he was pleased with her. He held out his golden scepter. Then King Xerxes asked, “What can I do for you, dear queen? I will give you whatever you ask, up to half of my kingdom.” Queen Esther made her request and asked him to spare the lives of her people, the Jews. The king was shocked to find out that Queen Esther was a Jew. He asked her who was responsible for putting the lives of the Jewish people in danger. Esther pointed to Haman. The king was upset with Haman for being so cruel, so he had Haman killed. Queen Esther and the Jewish people were saved! Queen Esther knew that God put her in that place at that time for the purpose of saving the Jews, God’s people. God is at work in everything! God works everything in His perfect time so His perfect will can be done. Little did Esther know, she was paving the way for the coming of the world’s Savior by protecting the Israelites from death. One day, a Jewish man named Jesus, would make a way so that His children could approach God with confidence and grace.

PRAY:  Dear God, help me to love and honor You above everyone else. Fill my heart with love for other people, and open my eyes to see the special plans You have for me.

FAMILY ACTIVITY: If you have a little girl, let her dress up like a princess. Take a magic wand (golden scepter), and act out the story of Esther. For a boy, dress him up like a king, and do the same!