Missional Women: Esther

Recently Time Magazine released a list of the 100 most influential people in 2023. Exactly 50 out of 100 listed were women. I am certainly not a fan of the women’s lib movement and I firmly believe in what the Bible teaches concerning the roles of men and women. However, one good thing that has come from modern women’s movements is the increased recognition of the influence that women have on our society. As you study scripture, you will find just as many women as men having great influence and making a substantial impact on the world. One of the women we find in scripture that had great influence was Esther. She was truly a woman of influence. An entire book of the Bible was written about Esther and the influence she had. As we look at the life of Esther, we see seven things concerning her great influence and the impact she made.

                An Unlikely Position. In chapters 1-2 we learn how King Ahasuerus was unhappy with the queen. The queen behaved in a way that was disrespectful and dishonoring to the king. Eventually, the king decided to have all the unmarried women of the land to come to his palace so he could choose a new queen. One of those women was a Jew. She was with the group of Jews that had been taken captive from Jerusalem. Esther was a very beautiful lady, and she was very pleasant. Mordecai, Esther’s closest relative that took her in and raised her as his own daughter, prepared Esther for the possibility of being chosen to be queen. Mordecai instructed Esther not to reveal that she was a Jew. Eventually, the king did choose Esther, and she became queen. This young lady who had no parents and was raised by a distant relative with no great future suddenly found herself as the queen. She was placed in an unlikely position. It was certainly nothing that Esther ever dreamed of or even desired. She was content living an average uneventful life. A door opened up for her and she found herself in a position where she could potentially have a great impact.

                God places us in certain positions at strategic times to be used for the furtherance of His kingdom and for His glory. No matter where you are in life, God has you where you are for a reason. You can make a difference. In your workplace, in your school, wherever you go; you can be a person of influence. God has something for you to do.  

                An Impossible Predicament. In chapter 3 we are told of a man named Haman that was elevated to a high position within the kingdom. All the king’s servants bowed to Haman. However, Mordecai would not bow to him for he would bow to no one other than the true and living God. Haman was angered by Mordecai’s refusal to bow to him, and he orchestrated a plot to kill all the Jews. Haman talked to the king and deceived the king into making a decree that all Jews will be killed. Esther found herself in an impossible predicament. Here she was the queen of the land, and she was secretly a Jew. A decree is made by the king that all Jews are to be killed. What would Esther do?

                Have you ever found yourself in an impossible predicament? Have you ever been in a situation that was simply impossible to face? Have you ever been in a ‘no-win’ situation? I have been in many such predicaments over the years. Impossible situations where there was little to no hope of anything good coming from it. That’s the situation that Esther found herself in.

                An Urgent Prayer. In chapter 4 we see all the Jews mourning over the king’s decree. They feared for their lives. Esther spoke with Mordecai to see if they could come up with a solution. Mordecai told Esther that she was going to have to approach the king about this issue. Esther also feared for her life because she knew the rules of the palace and how she was not to approach the king unless summoned. Mordecai told Esther that she was appointed for such a time as this. Esther then tells Mordecai to have all the people pray. Their first act was to call all the Jews to fast and pray. They were in an urgent situation, and they needed to urgently pray.

                Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where all we can do is pray. Esther was in such a situation. She knew that her only hope was in the Lord. Before she made any move, she knew she had to pray. Esther was very wise in calling the people to prayer. The decision she had to make and the thing she had to do required Divine intervention. Before we set out to do anything we should always pray. Never jump into anything. Never rush. Don’t make rash decisions. Make sure you pray and seek wisdom from the Lord before you proceed.

                A Careful Plan. In chapter 5 Esther came up with a plan to host a banquet in honor of the king and at the banquet she would reveal the evil schemes of Haman. It was a very meticulous plan. Every detail had to be just right in order to have success. In order for Esther to be in a position to have such an influence that would impact the king’s decisions and save her people, careful planning was needed.

                For you and I to be people of influence, it takes careful planning. Strategy is so very important in having influence on those around you. Living a missional life takes planning. You don’t just jump into action without having a plan. How are you planning? Are you consistently strategizing ways that you can have the greatest impact possible on the world around you?

                A Sovereign Prospect. In chapter 6 we find the sovereignty of God in making known the generous deeds of Mordecai. The king could not sleep so he called a servant in to read the daily records to him. As it was read to him, it was revealed that there was a time when Mordecai saved the king’s life. This scenario is seen in verses 21-23 of chapter 2. When the king realized that nothing was done to show appreciation to Mordecai, he called Haman in for advice. He asked Haman what should be done for the one who is so loyal to the king. Haman, thinking the king was speaking of himself, told the king that the man should wear the king’s clothes and be lead around the city on the king’s horse and everyone should bow to him. The king then told Haman to do this for Mordecai. Obviously, Haman was very surprised and furious.

                God has a way of intervening in the circumstances of our lives and turning that which is difficult into something that is good. When we serve Him faithfully and we bring Him glory by living a missional life, there will be times when God will surprise us with a special blessing. God never forgets those who faithfully serve Him. As you remain faithful, He will lift you up in due time.

                A Revealing Plight. In chapter 7 we have the account of the banquet that Esther planned for the king. At the banquet Esther reveals her identity as a Jew and the motives of Haman and all is evil scheming. Haman is then ordered to be hung by the same gallows he earlier prepared for Mordecai.

                The Bible warns us that our sin will find us out. Eventually our evil plans and sinful actions will come to light. A person of influence living a missional life will have many Haman’s in their life. There will be opposition and there will be those that make it their lot in life to take you down. However, when we are experiencing such opposition, we must remind ourselves that God will not forget us. He will bring the deeds of our enemies to light.

                A Timely Promotion. In chapters 8-10 we find the Jewish people saved and Mordecai is elevated to a high position in the kingdom. God not only saved His people, but He also exalted them and destroyed their enemies.

                When we live a missional life, God will sometimes promote us in such a way that our circle of influence increases. That is a personal prayer of mine that God would continually enlarge my territory and allow my influence to increase so that I can have a greater impact for the Kingdom. Living a missional life opens doors and opportunities that you never dreamed would be possible. God promotes us in His way and His time. Our responsibility is to simply serve the Lord faithfully wherever God places us. We are not to promote ourselves or tear down a door that is not open. We are to faithfully serve and allow God to promote us as He chooses.

                Living a missional life is living with influence. We all have a circle of influence. We all have people that look up to us. We can all have an impact. May God help us to live a missional life and to be people of influence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s