Open my heart to receive from Your Word today, Jesus.
Read Esther 5:1–8
Esther’s Request to the King
5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
3 Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
4 “If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”
5 “Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”
So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. 6 As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
7 Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8 If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
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.
ReflectIf you want something very much, and others are involved in you getting it, how would you go about achieving your aim?
Esther approaches the king without his request to do so. It turns out just fine! She is met with pleasure and amazing generosity. For us, reading this with knowledge of the whole story, it’s almost an anti-climax. But Esther did not know what the king would do, so it must have taken tremendous courage to stand there, even with all the prayerful preparation and support behind her, waiting for the king’s approval—or a death sentence.
Esther’s answer to the king’s question seems designed to please! He clearly has a predilection for feasting, so to invite him and his best buddy Haman to a banquet is a smart move. And at the banquet, Esther is the only person who possesses all the facts: her nationality; the king’s edict against the Jews, instigated by Haman; and now, the knowledge of the king’s offer to give her up to half his kingdom. That gives her great power—but she carefully paves the way to achieving her aim with a second banquet invitation, and a promise to “reveal all” on that occasion (7). This tactical approach proves wise.
Think of your leaders: those in your church, your family, your community and government. Do you know who they are? Commit to pray for one or more of them this week.
God, I pray that You will be at work in the hearts and minds of those in leadership around me. May they make wise decisions.