Summary: King Xerxes is angry when Queen Vashti will not come before him and removed her from her throne. A Jew named Mordecai allowed Hadassah, his cousin, to be taken to the kings palace as a prospective new queen. She changed her name to Esther and found favor in the king's sight. She became queen and a banquet was thrown for her. Mordecai found favor with the king when he warned him of a plot to kill him. King Xerxes gave Haman a higher honor, but Mordecai refused to bow to him. Haman then set out to kill the Jews. Esther found out what was going on and told Mordecai to gather the Jews and fast for her. She was going to tell the king the truth, even if it killed her. Esther went to the king and requested to have a banquet with the king and Haman. King Xerxes agreed to spare the Jews and Haman ended up being hung on the gallows he made for Mordecai. Mordecai was honored by the king and the Jews were now feared among the people.
Response: This story of Esther is really interesting to me because it is almost scandalous in a way. This young beautiful girl lied about herself to become queen and the Lord used her to save His chosen people. Also, the lifestyle of the people in this story is so elaborate. It is quite a transition to read about the Israelites and their suffering and then to read about the people of Susa and their luxurious lives. It is amazing to see how the Lord used Esther in her situation. She remained obedient to the Lord and because of that, the Lord was faithful to the Jews. Not only that, but people in Susa were introduced the Lord, the God of the Jews, and they feared them. Haman had the complete power and authority to kill the Jews, but the Lord reigned over Haman's power and the Jews won.