I’ve always loved the story of Cinderella. A poor, orphan girl wins the prince’s love and becomes a princess.
It reminds me of my story as a bride of Christ. Before I discovered that the prince chose me, I floundered as an unwanted daughter. Without a father to love and care for me, I was lost and dirty. But Prince Jesus saw me in my ugly state, and chose to love me, making me a beautiful princess.
Isn’t that your story too? Yes, I believe it is.
It’s also Esther’s.
Remember? She lost her parents and was raised by her Great Uncle Mordecai. Then from her humble beginnings, she became queen!
The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen. (Esther 2:16-17, ESV)
But bad stuff was a-brewing!
Really bad. To understand just how bad, we need to remember that the whole Bible is one big story.
What’s the plot? Well, God promised to send a deliverer to restore his people who fell away when sin entered the world. Where is that guy? When will he ever come? We need him!
When we arrive at Esther, we’re still waiting. And we’ve waited a LONG time! All through the patriarchs, judges, kings, and now we’re in exile. Dang! When. Will. He. Come?
We can’t forget the other part of the Bible’s overarching plot. Remember? There’s a bad guy. The “Seed of the Serpent.” What’s his goal (according to Gen. 3:15)? To destroy the seed of the woman (the lineage that will bring the deliverer). His whole purpose is to thwart God’s plan, and now, in Esther, it seems like he’ll succeed!
There’s this guy, Haman, who schemes to “destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month” (Esther 3:13).
Pretty detailed plan!
Haman writes the decree and seals it with the king’s signet ring. There’s no turning back. It’s done. Put a fork in it. Haman has the decree written in every language and sends it everywhere!
And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes. (Esther 4:3, ESV)
They get it. This is going to happen.
The serpent wins.
A peasant girl who became a queen can save the day.
Esther’s the queen, but that doesn’t mean she can just waltz up to her husband and tell him what to do. In fact, if she even enters into his throne room without being summoned—she’s dead. UNLESS he holds out his golden scepter to her.
There’s no guarantee he’ll do this. Early in the book he already easily dispensed of one queen and had his pick from all the ladies in the land. How easily he could find another.
If she approaches the king, she could seriously perish.
So for Esther to save her people—to preserve the line of the Messiah—she must enter a place of death. She must be willing to sacrifice her own life. And she is willing. She says, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
Hmm…Esther points us to Christ, doesn’t she?
What happens next? Fear grips the Hebrews all over the land. They pray and fast and cry out to God. Esther and her ladies also pray and fast.
When the time comes, they dress her in her best royal clothes. I can imagine how knotted her stomach must’ve felt. With every bit of clothing, every touch of make-up, she held her breath, checking each detail.
Dressed not as the orphan girl, but in royal robes—as the queen she has become—she enters.
And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. (Esther 5:2, ESV)
The king welcomes her. She “wins favor”—that means he chooses to bestow grace on her. She needn’t worry about the king’s wrath. She can boldly approach the throne.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
Because of this favor bestowed on Esther, the king cancels the decree to destroy the Jews. God’s people are saved. The Messiah can come.
You know, in the Christmas story, Christ’s throne is that manger, isn’t it? And the king is a baby. The “immortal, invisible, only wise God” personifies grace by appearing in such a meager state. The humble nativity itself says, “Come. Don’t be afraid. You are welcome before this throne. I know you’re dirty. I know you’re an orphan, but in my eyes, you’re a queen.”
And they come. First Mary and Joseph, holding their son—yet at the same time worshiping the Promised Deliverer. Then the shepherds. Later the magi, Simeon, Ana and on and on…
Starting that first Christmas Eve until the baby in the manger returns again, his people will continue to be welcomed to the throne of the king.
You are welcomed. Don’t be afraid. He clothes you in royal robes, takes you as his beloved bride, finds favor in you, and loves you. Come to your husband the king. He will hold you safely in his gentle care. He delights in you, his beautiful bride.
How often do you “approach the throne”? Isn’t it amazing that we have access to the king? The door’s open, so go on in, bring your requests, talk to him about everything, just be near. He won’t turn you away.
Remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.
Shine your light: What is your prayer routine? Do you journal your prayers, pray at specific times, or throughout the day or all of the above? If you have anything you’d like me to pray for, feel free to leave your requests in the comments or e-mail me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org