Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.
Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.
Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.
In the first part of this chapter, it seems that Esther’s and the Jew’s prayers have been answered as far as her being allowed to enter the king’s presence. Does God always answer our prayers so dramatically in our favor? Not always, and yet here, with the humbling of the people, repentance and genuine lamentations the Lord heard and answered, because He had already had the plan in place (who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?)
We don’t know what God is doing in our lives, especially in serious trials, and it could be that He doesn’t seem to “hear” our prayers because our prayers aren’t in line with His plans (not my will, but thine, be done.) While that seems to be hard to swallow, and not all of us are in a life and death situation at times like this, it’s an incredible show of absolute faith and trust when we throw ourselves completely at His mercy to allow Him to work His plans for our lives, even when we don’t understand or see at that hardest moment where it’s going to take us.
And that’s what Esther displayed when she went before the king. She put her trust in God, and all the prayers which were prayed, and stepped into the court with confidence whether she lived or died. (For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain ~ Phil. 1:21)
It also seems as if Esther has the full favor of Xerxes as he bids her to tell of her request and he will give up to half the kingdom. (I can’t help but be reminded of similar words from Herod (I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom~ Mark 6:23) It would do well for kings not to make such rash promises lest a good man be executed.
Speaking of pride, boy Haman sure is full of it in this chapter. Notice how he calls all his friends and wife together only for the purpose of boasting about all he has, all he’ll be given (also a rash statement concerning what happens to him!) and all about being so special. And yet hate is controlling his heart as he thinks of Mordecai and the Jews.
It’s interesting the contrast between Esther’s ‘gathering’ of the king and Haman in order to save people’s lives, and Haman’s gathering in order to brag and destroy people’s lives.
Pride really does go before a fall. God is sovereign, His plans are always being at work. Whether we understand His plans, and question whether He is able to, or wants to hear or answer our prayers, we can be assured with confidence, not out of pride, but out grateful hearts because of His mercy and grace that He is answering them in His way. We might not always see it or know it right away, but He is answering.
When we seem to have nothing, we all still have the ability to pray.
Have a blessed and beautiful Day all.