Jesus, thank You for enduring the consequences of the cross for me.
Read Esther 2:15–23
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy
19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana[a] and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
a Esther 2:21 Hebrew Bigthan, a variant of Bigthana
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever been in the position of being able to do someone a favor they didn’t know they needed?
She’s arrived! Esther has been chosen above all others to be Vashti’s successor (17,18). The process of choice may have been discreetly described, but it reflects the nature and character of the society of the day, however much we may find it distasteful. Esther becoming queen is publicly celebrated with the second of the ten banquets this book records, with time off all around and plenty of presents (18)!
Almost as an aside, we learn that Mordecai has uncovered some important information. He has a habit of being in and around the environs of the palace to keep an eye on Esther and her well-being (11,19). Somehow he discovered information prejudicial to the king’s well-being (21). There are immediate consequences to this. He tells Esther, Esther tells the king, Xerxes’s life is saved, and there’s a grisly end for the conspirators (23). Mordecai’s part in exposing the plot is recorded—presumably for posterity, but it also has unforeseen consequences that are considerably more significant for him, and for others, as we will read in the remainder of Esther’s story.
Do you step in when you see a situation that needs to be stopped or addressed? Do you know of any situations now that you could help to change for the better? Ask God to show you what to do.
God, help me to act with godliness in every situation—and leave the consequences in Your hands.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.