Welcome back. Today’s story is one of my favorites.
It is from the book of Esther.
The Israelites had been taken from the promised land and some of them from Judah (Jews) were living in Persia. The king of Persia was Xerxes. One day, the king had a party and called for the queen. “Come show my friends how pretty you are!”
“Excuse me?!” she said. “No.” The queen refused to show off for all the men, and because she had “disobeyed the kin,” king got rid of her and decided he would pick a new queen.
The king’s helpers went out and found all the unmarried young women and brought them to the castle.
One of the girls they found and took to the palace was named Esther. She was an Israelite, and her cousin, Mordecai took care of her. He visited everyday to see how she was doing and he made sure she didn’t tell ANYONE she was an Israelite.
All of the girls had to take turns going before the king. Most chose to wear a lot of makeup, fancy clothes and jewelry. Esther decided to just be herself and the king chose HER to be his new queen. He liked her very much.
Later, one day while Mordecai was at the castle gates, he heard two of the king’s helpers making a plan to kill the king. He told Esther who told the king and the men were killed, but nobody really told Mordecai “thank you.”
Now King Xerxes had a helper named Haman. He was the king’s best helper, and he expected everyone to bow down to him, like the king. But Mordecai would NOT bow down to him and that made him very very angry. When Haman learned Mordecai was an Israelite, he decided to kill ALL the Israelites.
So Haman went to the king and said, “There are some people here who do not honor the king and do not do what the king says. Now sign this piece of paper that says we can destroy them.” The king said, “Sure…whatever. You can do whatever you want,” and he signed the paper.
Mordecai was really really sad about the news and when Esther found out he was really sad, she sent one of her servants to find out why. Mordecai told the servant everything and he said Esther needed to go before the king and ask for help.
The rule was though, that anyone who walked into the king’s room without being invited, would be killed. Esther was scared.
Mordecai reminded her that maybe God had let her become queen for such a time as this. Maybe God planned to use Esther. She could trust God and not be afraid to do the right thing.
So Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the people and pray for 3 days. She also prayed for 3 days and then…she went to the king.
So Esther got dressed up, tried to be brave and she went to the king…knowing he could have her killed if he wanted to. But when he saw her, he was happy! He invited her in and said, “What can I do for you?”
Esther asked the king and Haman to come to dinner.
At dinner that night, the king said, “What do you really want? You can have up to half my kingdom…anything for my Esther.”
“If it pleases the king, I would like you and Haman to come to dinner tomorrow too!”
“Yes, that’s a good idea! We will come!” answered the king.
That evening Haman saw Mordecai and was so angry, he decided he would kill Mordecai himself. Also that evening, the king couldn’t sleep. He called in one of his servants to read to him. The servant was reading some of the stories of the castle and the king was reminded of the time Mordecai had warned him about the bad guys.
“Did we ever do anything for him?” asked the king.
“Hmm…bring in Haman!” the king called. “Haman! what should be done for the man the king wants to honor?”
(Now Haman thought the king was talking about HIM, he was SURE the king wanted to celebrate HIM, so…he came up with a great plan.)
“If the king wants to celebrate somebody,” said Haman, “he should put on the king’s best clothes, and ride on the king’s best horse. Let one of the king’s best helpers walk the horse around town and shout, ‘This is what is done for someone the king likes!'”
“Great!” replied the king. “Go do that for Mordecai.”
MORDECAI?! Haman HATED Mordecai!?But he had to obey. So they brought Mordecai and Haman put the king’s best robe on him, and put him on the king’s best horse and he led Mordecai around town saying, “The king wants to celebrate this man. This man is honored by the king!”
When he got home that night, Haman was SO SO angry…but he had to hurry off to the dinner with the king and Esther.
At dinner, the king again asked, “What can I do for you, my Esther? You can have up to half my kingdom…anything for you.”
Esther answered, “If you are pleased with me…please save my people! Someone is planning to kill my whole family! All my people!”
“Who would DO such a thing to my wonderful queen?!” shouted the king.
“Haman. He is our enemy.”
The king was SO angry with Haman he ordered Haman be killed. Just the way he had planned to kill Mordecai, now Haman would die. And Mordecai became the king’s best helper.
The king made a new rule, that the Israelites could defend themselves. And when the day came for them to be destroyed, they fought and won!
Esther was a regular girl, but she trusted God and He had big plans for her. God has big plans for you too and we know we can always trust in God. Sometimes things in life seem scary or we don’t understand why they happen, but we can trust God and see how we can show others His power and love.
There is a cute veggie tales video of Esther. Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.