The time for the second banquet has arrived. Since Queen Esther had such success with the first one, she now had a little more boldness. Yet, her ask was still with the utmost respect. Again, the king says, “I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”
What was Queen Esther’s request? That her people’s lives be spared from annihilation. The king didn’t seem to skip a beat wondering who “her people” were. His mind went right to the place of someone harming her, his beloved wife. The king demanded to know who would do such a thing.
Now, remember Haman was sitting right there. I’m sure he was just as surprised by the queen’s request. He must have been thinking, “the queen is a Jew?” Then, when Haman saw the king’s reaction, he had to be quaking in his boots! He was surely wishing he could make himself invisible. Already today he had to swallow his pride and cart Mordecai around on the royal steed. Now, the queen was about to call him out.
Without hesitation, Esther named Haman as the one whose wicked plan was to kill her and her people. The king jumped to his feet in anger and left the room. Have you ever done that? Just left a situation because you knew you might say or do something you would regret? It’s actually better to sometimes avoid conflict, gather your thoughts, and then reenter the situation calmly.
The queen had asked for protection for her people. A reversal of the death penalty that was set to happen in the months ahead. Do we know her purpose for having Haman be a witness to this? Did Esther think that Haman’s life would be in danger if she made this request? After all, he was the king’s top official-wouldn’t he have immunity? Perhaps she just wanted him to sweat a little, witness the king’s anger over what he had already done and was planning to do.
Haman was beside himself. He was pleading with Esther for his life. He knew he would not come out of this alive. Where was the queen’s compassion? Could she or would she stop Haman’s death? I don’t think that’s a detail we need to worry about. This is God’s story of saving his people.
Aren’t there times when we ask God for something, and then something much bigger happens. I can remember asking for guidance on how to handle a certain situation, and then lo and behold, I was put in charge. That is not what I was asking, but in essence, it was answered prayer. Being put in charge gave me the authority to handle it differently.
God wants us to come to him. We, like Esther to the king, should approach God with reverence and respect. We should be seeking God’s will above all else. God wants to hear our requests. He may already know what’s happening in our lives, but the mere act of humbling ourselves and asking is so powerful. It blesses God to be in dialogue with us. Yes, he will answer if we are listening.
God isn’t a scary monster whom we should fear. Since Jesus sacrificed himself for us, there are no longer any rules which keep us separated from God. We should be in regular conversation with him, letting him know our innermost thoughts, our desires, our needs. God will use us, like used Esther, to further his kingdom.
Are you open to be used by God? How is your line of communication with him? When is the last time you asked for something and he multiplied your ask? Take time today to reflect on God’s provisions for you.
Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for all the answered prayers in my life. You have rescued me from some pretty dark places. I am overflowing with gratitude, and my heart sings your praises. There is no ask too great for you, Lord, but I always want to come with reverence, trusting you will answer me according to your will. Your will be done, Lord. I thank you that I can come to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.