Every day we are faced with situations that require a decision. Some decisions are simple. Others are much more serious. Esther has decided to go to the King and plead for the lives of the Jews. Looking at her decision and action steps in Chapter 5, we will see steps that will help us when making decisions.
Verse 1 begins, “One the third day….” Esther took three days to fast and pray since no one can approach the King uninvited. During that time, God gave Esther great wisdom. Dress for success! Esther put on her royal clothing since she was going to approach the King on his royal throne. She needed a new outfit! Like the royal wedding! Whether it is a job interview or date, we should dress for the occasion. Not only did she fast, pray, and put on her royal clothes, she also went ahead and prepared a banquet in faith (v. 4). She and her servants were planning and preparing food while they fasted! You may be thinking, people are about to die and she is planning a party? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Esther shows great self-control. She maintained her composure. There is a lot to tell the King and she hasn’t seen him in a month. Timing is everything. If you need to have a tough conversation, you have to decide when, where, the attendees, how much to say and not say. Be prepared!
God answered her prayers and the prayers of her people. She was granted access and was pardoned when she could have been killed. Because of Jesus, God has extended the gold scepter toward us. Instead of death, He has given us favor and welcomed us into His presence! The King tells Esther he will give her whatever she wants, up to half the kingdom. God not only answered her prayer, He did exceedingly abundantly above all she could ask or think!
The King goes to the banquet, but Esther asks him to come back again the next day. She is not procrastinating, but being patient. Too often people freak and leak! Esther knows not to blurt out. She is seeking a private audience with the King. Think of the story of Lazarus. Jesus waited before going to him. Joseph did not reveal his identity to his brothers at first. Wait on the Lord. He will renew your strength! While we wait, God is at work. Even when you are doing the right thing, you need to wait for the right time and place. Patience is a great spiritual discipline. Life can be frustrating – traffic, telemarketers, long lines, etc. Stay in control. Enjoy the pause. Patience allows us to see things we did not see at first glance. Take time to decelerate, contemplate and meditate. Patience is not being passive. It is being strategic.
Upon leaving the banquet, Haman was enraged that Mordecai wouldn’t bow to him. He even builds gallows to use to kill him. Haman is having a good day and just the sight of one person robs him of his joy. Are there people in your life who rob you of your joy? If you don’t want people to drive you crazy, stop giving them the key! Haman is proud. He’s bragging on what he has and what he’s done. Selfishness and pride will cause you to be discontent. Pride and sin will keep you from enjoying what you have. Stop focusing on what you don’t have and start enjoying what you do have. Haman’s identity is in his wealth, family, rank, position, and the exclusive invite. He was full of himself! We can be full of ourselves too.
Think about your purpose. What are you living for? Power, control, wealth, riches? Idolatry is when we take good things, even the gifts from God, and turn them into little idols. Esther’s delay had a purpose. God was waiting on Haman to build the gallows on which he would die.
When it comes to your decisions, are you prayerfully making preparation? Are you impatient and getting ahead of God? What is the purpose? Do you have purpose in life?