By Pastor Shana Wise
Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 2:10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.
Esther 7:3-4 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. 4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”
American History that Relates to the Story of Esther
In American history, specifically in the black community, since slavery, there has been a group of people called mixed or Mullato. These people had one parent who was white and one who is black. Post slavery, some of these mixed raced people were able to “pass” for white in American society. If they were able to do this, they enjoyed privileges that other blacks could not. Since they could pass for white, they would not have to endure the hardships of their fellow black race. This history in the black community has gone on since slavery, and the effects of “colorism” and equality are still present even today.
Queen Esther was a young lady that “passed” as a Persian but she was actually an Israelite. God used her to bring salvation to the Jewish people during her time as queen (read the book of Esther). In God’s divine wisdom and sovereignty, he designed (created) Esther’s appearance to favor the people of the Persian society. During this time, the Israelites experienced racism in Persia, because they were the minority and foreigners of the land. They experienced conditions like the blacks’ post-slavery in America because they weren’t “slaves” during this time, they were considered exiles (from Judah). The difference between this historical society of Persia and America is that it took place in the Middle East, somewhere around what we know as modern-day Iran.
More Background of the Story of Esther
Queen Esther (an Israelite) was hidden by God in the court of King Xerxes, ruler of Persia. She was a beautiful young lady and the King was taken by her beauty. Queen Esther was raised by her uncle Mordecai who had influence in with his people and in the kings’ court. Mordecai raised Esther to never forget who she was and where she came from. While she was in the king’s court, a plot had derived from Haman (one of the king’s officials) to annihilate all of the Israelites in the land; for he was racist and he hated the Jewish people. Mordecai let Esther know about the plot Haman was trying to do and he persuaded her to approach King Xerxes about the situation. Esther along with her people prayed and fasted before she told the King what was going on because he did not know about Haman’s evil plans. When the time was right, not only did she tell the king about Haman’s evil plan for her people, she revealed that she was Jewish. In doing this, King Xerxes responded to Queen Esther’s request for her people by executing Haman and in return saving the lives of the Israelites living in the land. To this day, Purim, (which is the Jewish holiday to commemorate all these events that took place during this time), is still celebrated.
Now that we have some background of the text let us dig deeper into what God is saying to his children of the world, specifically the ones who have accepted his son Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Queen Esther was “hidden in plain sight” in the court of King Xerxes. As believers in Christ, we are hidden in plain sight within our communities. No matter our race, color, or ethnicity, we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, even though we are “in the world”, “we are not of the world”.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Like Queen Esther, we were born and purposed for such a time as this! With all that is going on in the world’s communities and societies (disparity, hopelessness, confusion, hatred, lawlessness, and the list goes on), we have been called to bring the good news of salvation within our communities.
Matthew 5:13-14, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
In my book, The Impact of Your Election, I wrote about how God has given us all a level of influence. This influence is directly connected to what we have been called to be which is the salt and the light of the world. Queen Esther could have used the influence, power, and authority that she had in the king’s court for selfish reasons and gains, however, she chose to use what God gave her to save her people.
During our time in history, like Esther, people are depending on us to take our rightful place and bring hope not only to our community but to the nation(s). There will always be evil and sin in this world until the end of time, yet it does not dimmish the purpose and assignment that God has for his children to do here on earth.
Like Queen Esther, we are the answer to other people’s problems. We carry the hope of the world which is the name of Jesus Christ. No matter how bad things get or how dark this world seems to be, we as God’s children shine bright!
We are, “a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden (Mat. 5:14)”. Even though the people in the king’s court could not see that Esther was a Jew (hidden), it did not change who she was (a child of God). God has placed us in areas of influence within our homes and communities where people may “see” us, but they don’t “see us”. Yet, when the time comes (for such a time as this), they will see the light of our salvation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Ephesians 3:9, “and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ”.
I want to encourage you this week to look for opportunities where you can be a blessing to others using the influence that God has given you.
I also want to admonish you to see beyond what you see and remember “whose” and “who” you are. You were created with a purpose and assignment, for such a time as this. What does God have for you to do to bring salvation to someone else? For some of us, like Queen Esther, it is going to require some faith, boldness, prayer, and fasting, taking a risk, and getting out of your comfort zone. Just like the story of Esther, it will be a far greater purpose than we could ever think or imagine (Eph. 3:20).
For those who have not established a relationship with Jesus Christ, what is holding you back from committing to the relationship that He wants to have with you? God loves you and He has a plan and purpose for your life!
If you want to make Jesus Lord of your life today, just confess with your mouth and believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ (read Roman 10:8-13). He died and rose from the dead not only to give you eternal life but hope and promise for the future!
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is the Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016), a non-profit church ministry. She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network (est. 2016). Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election which are both available on Amazon. She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.