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Defining Moment: Esther a Prototype For Other Youths

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Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more

Queen Esther

Queen Esther

Introduction defines defining as decisive; critically important. Moment from the online dictionary is defined as an indefinitely short period of time; instant or short period of time. While prototype is defined as the first design of something from which other forms are copied or developed. For clearer picture and understanding of prototype, Lexico dictionary adds the Greek word of prototype to its definition and says, the Romanized form of prototype is prōtotupos which means something on which something else copies.

From the Romanized meaning of prototype, it thence shows that prototype means something from which other things could be copied, it may not necessarily be the first but it means that the thing is outstanding, and it is done well such that others could emulate it, it could become an original from which other templates could be drawn or made.

The character that I want us to see for this topic is Esther, but before we examine the defining moment of her life, I shall want us to see the incidents preceding her coming to the limelight in the strange land which she lives with her uncle.

King Ahasuerus

King Ahasuerus

The Preceding Incident

King Ahasuerus has been living in Shushan the palace with her beautiful wife for some years, from this place has he been ruling the 127 provinces under his kingdom. The vastness of the kingdom was described in the bible as starting from the Ethiopia to India. Looking at the map either present or the ancient map, one would discover how vast his kingdom was those days.

However, in the third year of his reign the bible says the king decides to rejoice with the princes, servants, nobles and other important dignitaries in his kingdom as he made a feast unto them all.

In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: (Est 1:3)

What necessitated this was not clearly stated but it cannot be unrelated to him becoming the most powerful king in the world for the 3 uninterrupted years. As a king who knows little about God, he considers it right to felicitate with those who had supported him, those who have been the with him since the assumption of office, those who do not allow for the kingdom to be overturned.

This feast was observed for 180 days, which is approximately 6 months.

When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. (Est 1:4)

After this celebration with the people, he decided to have a special revelry with those living in the palace where he lives, those who have been accommodating people from far and near, those who had little time for themselves during those days of festivities, he decided to acknowledge their worth and set aside another seven days to rejoice with them.

And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. (Est 1:5)

This obviously shows the kind of person this king is, he is a king that knows and appreciates little things, he perhaps could be the judge Jesus was referring to in the book of Luke 18 when Jesus was talking to his disciples of the need to always pray without ceasing.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Saying, there was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: (Luk 18:1-2)

I said this because throughout the wordings in this book we cannot find a place where God was referenced, either little of Yahweh.

It shows that the king living in his splendor has no reason for acknowledging neither referencing any God because everything was working for him as he pleases, but despite this, he has time for his servants, for those working under him, for those supporting his kingship for those who make things work perfectly and normally in the kingdom, he has time for them, he values and references them.

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Poll 1: Leadership

Everyone of us occupies a rulership position at a time or another, no one is a perpetual servant. If you do not occupy rulership position in your work places, at least you do among your family members, because either you like it or not there are people looking upward to you, they may be your siblings, wife, husband or children.

These people believe in your leadership, and are supporting you, you thence need to set aside sometimes to be acknowledging them, appreciating their loyalty to you, their belief in you.

Queen Vashti

Queen Vashti

Vashti’s Error

This king continues to enjoy with his servants in Shushan and on the seventh day, when he became merry, he wanted to honor his wife, he wanted the people to know that his wife has been supportive of all he was doing and wanted her to show forth herself.

He thence sent for the woman, Vashti his queen to come and show her beauty and splendor but the queen would not come out, the queen turned down the offer of the king because she was equally attending to women in her quarter.

Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.” (Est 1:9-12)

King Ahasuerus was angry for what his queen did, and the anger reflected on his face. This prompted the chiefs beside him to tell him that what the queen did was not only a slap on the face of the King, but a slap on the face of all men, for sooner than expected the wives of men within his kingdom would start misbehaving if what Queen Vashti did was not properly addressed.

And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath. (Est 1:16-18)

They told the king what her should do, and their counsel is that the Queen be replaced.

If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.

And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan.” (Est 1:19 & 21)

The king reasoned along with his chiefs but wouldn’t want to do anything in haste, he thence gave it time before he acted.

After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. (Est 2:1)

Whenever anyone makes us angry, we should learn to give it time before reacting to what the person has done, because if we reacted to what he has done immediately we may do what is wrong, but when we give it time, we would have thought about what we want to do over and over before carrying it out.

Esther crowned

Esther crowned

Order For Replacement

King Ahasuerus gave the order that virgins be looked for him within the kingdom to be married to, to replace his queen who has failed to honor him, yea his kingdom.

Virgins were gathered from all the nooks and crannies of his kingdom and brought to the person who would screen them and present them to the king.

Among the beautiful virgin maidens gathered to their tutor, the person who will screen them out, was a Jewish lady called Hadassah, that is, Esther.

After the twelve months of screening and purification, Esther was the most favored maiden out of all beautiful damsels screened and brought unto the King.

King Ahasuerus crowned her queen to replace Vashti the queen that failed to honor him.

And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. (Est 2:17)

It would be of interest to know that this maiden, Esther, was brought up by her uncle, Mordechai, because her parents had died. Esther’s uncle told her that she should not disclose her identity to people. And what her uncle told her she followed to letters.

Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. (Est 2:20)


The Promotion of Haman

After the crowning of the new queen, and the completion of the investigation made into those who want to kill the king, with the report submitted to the king and the judgment passed on those people, King Ahasuerus decided to promote Haman, he made him the chief of all the chiefs in his kingdom.

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. (Est 3:1)

The position is a special one, and everyone within and without the palace knows it, thus, people were paying obeisance to Haman for the new status he has assumed. He was the King’s right-hand man, he was the next in command to the King. Whatever he says stands, and other difficult decisions he would take to the king for approval, and he sure knows that the King would approve such because of his status.

Hamman being bowed to except Mordechai

Hamman being bowed to except Mordechai

Haman’s Error

Haman after assuming this new position, and knowing that whatever he says stands, whatever he does cannot be questioned, he becomes proud.

Haman fails to take note of this in his life, and he was full of pride as time goes on, wanting everyone within the palace circumference to pay obeisance to him.

As the members of staff (servants) within the palace circuits were paying obeisance to him it was discovered that one of them wasn’t bowing to greet him like others, and the person who wasn’t bowing to greet him was called to order by his colleagues, but he wouldn’t bulged, therefore, those people took his case to the chief, Haman, directly to know what would be decided on him.

When they told him about the man, he asked who the man was and what was his basis for not paying obeisance to him as others, and he was told that he said he couldn’t do that because he was a Jew.

And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. (Est 3:2-4)

Haman became furious, because the person in question wasn’t even an indigene of the land, but a slave, one of the hostages carried into the land from Israel was the person who couldn’t pay obeisance to him.


He Developed Hatred For Mordechai

Because Mordechai did not pay obeisance to him as did others, he developed hatred for the man and made inquisitions into the man’s life. His discovery was that there are others in the land who were also Jews, and he believes other Jews would be acting like him, thence, he considers it senseless dealing with Mordechai alone, because if he deals with him alone, other Jews too would be doing similar thing in the country, disobeying him, not referencing him. For this reason, he puts it in his mind to wipe out the Jews in the land, after all they were slaves carried into the land.

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai. (Est 3:5-6)

He however couldn’t carry out this plan because Jews are scattered in the country, to carry out the plan he would have to involve the king of the land to take authority from the king so that the people would be eliminated.

Hamman receiving seal from King

Hamman receiving seal from King

The Decree And The Sealing

After arriving at what he wants to do so that his heart would be at rest, he took the matter to the king and told him that there are people in his kingdom and country who do not obey his rules and decrees, those people are dangerous people in the land and they need to be dealt with, he told the king.

For the trust the king reposed in him he doesn’t set up any panel to investigate what Haman said, he asks for the proposed bill and signed it into law.

And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, there is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.

If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.

And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.

And the king said unto Haman, the silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. (Est 3:8-11)

The ring which King Ahasuerus took from his hand and gave unto Haman signifies that he has signed his proposed bill into law, he has assented to it.

Letter sent out

Letter sent out

The Circulation

The assented bill was sent to all the provinces that made up the kingdom of Ahasuerus that the people there should act on certain day, killing the Jews in their vicinity.

Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.

The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed. (Est 3:12-15)

There was none in the kingdom who could read that this message did not get to, even those who cannot read, but who have people who can read nearby heard of the decision of the King via Haman his right-hand man.



Mordechai’s Action

Mordechai being a palace staff got firsthand information about what happened, the decree issued out in the name of the king, he traced the genesis of the decree and find out that it was Haman’s decision because of what he did, professing his faith in the palace. He considered it error for Haman to set his mind on wiping out the Jews in the land, he should have dealt with him alone, but he did not do that but thought he would unleash his power on all the Jews.

He therefore swerved into action went to Queen Esther’s quarters to tell her what is going on in case she hasn’t heard.

When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. (Est 4:1-2)



Esther’s Persuasion Turned Down

When Esther heard that her uncle was at the gate, entrance to her apartment with ashes on his head, sackcloth on, she was not happy with the news she heard in the palace and sent messages to her uncle that he should be calm for everything shall be investigated and resolved.

So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.(Est 4:4)

Mordechai however turned down her request and words of persuasion telling her the matter has gone out of hand and she needs to do something.

And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.

Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.

And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. (Est 4:7-9)

Queen Esther made her uncle remember that there is a law governing the land which she cannot break, and the law was there are specific times of the year and day that Queen can see the King. The time that she can see the King is a bit far off, she cannot break that because he is crying, she sent the message to her uncle.

All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (Est 4:11)

Mordechai made her, Queen Esther to know the importance of what he has sent to her, and that now is her defining moment, it is high time she defines herself, it is high time she let people know which side she belongs to, maybe the side of the people of God or the side of the law. It was trying time for her.

We also get into such times at a time or another in our lives, a time that would reveal our identity, a time that would show the people what we believe, what we know and what we are practicing.

Defining Moment

This shall be seen about the defining moment of Queen Esther


1. Her Uncle’s Utterance Jolted Her Back to Reality

The defining moment of Esther comes when her uncle puts her in remembrance of her identity, in case she has forgotten her identity, her uncle told her that she shouldn’t forget her identity.

Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?(Est 4:13-14)

When we sometimes get to position of authority and power, we forget the past and would behave as if we have not suffered in life. Some when they get what they have asking for from God, when god answers their prayers, they forget God and would be doing what is not in tandem with what they earlier believed, they would be doing things that are not right in the sight of God.

Sometimes we need someone like Mordechai to Queen Esther to be putting us in remembrance of whom we are, of our pasts maybe that would curb our inordinate actions and we shall be acting as we ought to, towards others and our families. Her uncle’s utterance puts her back on track that she needs not fear the person who can kill the flesh but cannot harm the soul.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)


2. She Took a Stand

After the message sent to her has been delivered, she was jolted back to life, and reality and knows that where she was, if she refuses to stand with her people those people could gang against her as it happened unto Vashti and she would be removed. She decided to stand with her people. Defining moment is time to take a stand for something. So many people do not take a stand for something and they will die for nothing.


3. She Revealed What She Believes

Before this time, she hasn’t been tested like this, for she has been living under the tutelage of her uncle. Now she is in the position of authority, she is in a position where she would stand for herself and reveal what she really believes.

At this juncture, queen Esther reveals what she believes in. Defining moment of our lives is a time to reveal what we believe in.

Reveal identity

Reveal identity

4. She Reveals Her Identity

Well before now, only few people within the kingdom and most especially within the palace knew that Esther was a Jew. Since the virgins to replace Vashti have been selected from all the regions and provinces that made up the kingdom where King Ahasuerus ruled, and they had been made to pass through the same procedure and processes, the identity of many slaves have been hidden, and this does not exempt Esther.

Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

And Esther said, the adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. (Est 7:3-6)

We shall see from the discussion of the Queen with her lord, King Ahasuerus, that neither was the king nor chief Haman aware of Queen Esther’s lineage, her identity wasn’t known until that moment. She has successfully hidden her identity as she has been commanded by her Uncle.

Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. (Est 2:20)

However, when occasion calls for it, she reveals her identity, people were made to know the tribe from which she comes from.

We equally need to reveal our identity in faith if indeed we have given our lives to Jesus Christ. We need to let people know that we belong to Jesus Christ.

We read an account of some noble people in the bible who equally hid their identity for a while as followers of Jesus Christ, but after Jesus death, they couldn’t again as they associated themselves with him during his death and asked for the body of Jesus to be properly buried, and the body was released unto them.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (Joh 3:1-2)

He went by night because he does not want people to know that he was associating himself with him, he does not want to be cast out of the temple.

And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (Joh 19:38-40)

However, after his death, they associated themselves with him at death and gave him befitting burial.

Poll 2: Identity:

Why are you still hiding your identity? Is it because you are living in a region where the gospel is not allowed? If you are living in a region where the gospel is not allowed, be assured that by your actions people would know you have changed and you have embraced new doctrine, Jesus doctrine and they would silently be following you too.

If you are however not living in a region where gospel is yet to be embraced but you are yet to make yourself known as a christian, know that people would introduce you to sin if you do not let them know your stand, but when you let them know your stand, they wouldn’t come to you with such, because they know whom you are and what you are for, what you stand for.


5. She Shows What She Practices

She told the person who was the intermediary between herself and her uncle, Mordechai to go and tell him that she has heard what he said and he would carry it out, in the meanwhile, she asked the person to tell him that what she practices even in her secret is fasting and implores her uncle to join her in the same, because the matter requires urgency, and to approach such urgent they have to be meticulous about it.

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (Est 4:16)

One may believe in something but not practicing the thing, but this is not the case with Esther, she shows through her words that she believes in fasting and she was practicing it.

We have heard of some people who believe in herbalist, but they will themselves not go to herbalists, but would tell people that if they have a means of contacting herbalists for them they would be glad. This is what they would say when they are in troubles. They themselves wouldn’t go to the herbalist because of what people would say, but when someone a friend who is unknown, relatives, whom people cannot easily say they are related to them go there for them they would accept what the person says.

Such people are addressed by Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans that, they will equally be judged alongside with those who do such.

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom 1:32)

Poll 3: Pleasure

Some are not whoremongers, but they have pleasures in those doing it. Some are not thieves, but they have pleasures in those stealing from government properties and company properties saying, the salary is not enough and should be complemented through such means. They are directly not practicing such but indirectly God views them as practicing it. To you is this word of God directed, that you should desist from the act and repent.

Esther practices what she believes and that was fasting, though she was no longer under the tutelage of Mordechai but what she has been taught by the man, she imbibed by and practices even when she has become independent.

Fasting: weight measurement

Fasting: weight measurement

6. She Has Trained Her Maidens (or Attendants) in The Act: Fasting

Esther shows that despite being crowned as queen over the land, she has not ignored prayer and fasting, and thus she implores her people to join her in the prayer, because the matter involves every Jew in the land.

It was because she has been involved in the act and has been training her attendants and subjects in the act in the palace, that was why she could say that “I also and my maidens will fast likewise (Est 4:16). What one has not been carrying one’s subject along, it would be difficult to just introduce such to them suddenly.

If a leader introduces such to his or her subjects suddenly, they may agree with the leader because she is the leader, but they wouldn’t whole heartedly practice it.

And we all know that God values what one does with all his might and strength, what one does in slipshod manner, what one does halfheartedly God wouldn’t bless. That is why the author of the book of preachers says,

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecc 9:10)

Poll 4: Your Attendants

She trained her subjects and attendants the way of the Lord and when the occasion calls for it, they arose together to pull down the wall of the enemies.


7. She Valued The Lives of Her People

It was because she valued the lives of her people that she could say, she will enter the inner chamber and talk to the king which was against the law of the land.

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (Est 4:16)

She decided to put herself in the harm’s way for her people. Not many leaders could do that. We have seen leaders who would avoid responsibilities when they know it is dangerous. When I was in University, I have seen some student Union President who would not defend the students but connive with the authorities to be robbing and punishing students, because they do not want to risk their lives for the students who elected them into the position.

Is this not the same with some of our political leaders in our constituencies? Is this not the same with our Labor Union leaders? When they have been told by the government on seat that they would be punished, seize their international passports, detained them, they would lose their grip of leadership and succumb to the leader’s whims and caprices, cheating the populace in the broad day light.

But Esther stood her ground, she valued her people and decided to risk her life and decided to put herself in the harm’s way so that her people would be delivered and freed from the looming genocide.

Bold woman

Bold woman

8. Her Boldness Was Revealed

Not many leaders would be willing to die for her or his kinsmen after assuming position of authority in the world. Queen Esther however showed distinction, she showed that she was ready to die for her people.

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (Est 4:16)

She knows what the law says, and she was willing to go head long into it, she was willing to lay down her life for her people. She was bold. It is only those who are bold as lion who would be willing to lay down their lives for the redemption and deliverance of their people.

Poll 5: Boldness