Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of Esther, a Jewish woman who became a Babylonian Queen. When she learned of a genocide being planned against her people, her adopted father convinced her to stand up and use her influence. He suggested, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Throughout this series we’ve been looking for stories that point to Jesus, and how the whole Old Testament is part of a big epic narrative whose climax is the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Book of Esther is unique in the bible because it never mentions God by name. But he’s there – even a statement like “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” shows Mordecai’s convinced daily life is influenced by a God with a plan – he thinks he and especially Esther is there for a reason.
There are a few hints in this book at what Jesus will do. For one, Jesus was at once God and human, sitting at the right hand of God the king and a peasant human. He used this unique position to great effect – on behalf of our broken, sinful human race he went to the king of the universe and asked him to spare our lives, risking his own in the process. We can see hints of this as Esther uses her dual identity, as a Babylonian Queen and a Jew, to intervene on her people’s behalf, at great personal risk.
So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. (Esther 7:1-6 ESV)
God found a way to spare his people, because he was approached by a beloved member of his court. He found a way to do it without compromising his standards or sovereignty.
Haman, the mastermind behind a plan to murder the Jews, was crushed and humiliated, and ultimately hanged on the very gallows he’d built to kill Mordecai.
Question: Esther foiled Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews. How do you think Satan planned to destroy the human race, and how did Jesus foil the plan? What does that mean for us?