Esther Argues Her Case

Read: Esther 7

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. (v. 3)

All eyes are on Esther as this chapter opens. Will she do it? we wonder as the dinner party winds down. Will she intercede for her people?

This is not an idle question. We thought she had the perfect moment before (see Esther 5:5-7). We wondered whether she’d lost her nerve, or if there had been some other more mysterious reason for her failure to “pop the question” at that first banquet. Now, however, we’re in a better position to take stock of her timing.

Think of how much has changed. The king’s divinely inspired insomnia has set up Haman’s downfall and Mordecai’s rise. Whatever Esther’s reasons for hesitating were, God seems to have made good use of them.

God makes good use of Esther’s gifts here as well. In a beautifully crafted argument, she pleads for the life of her people. If we thought she was just a pretty face, we underestimated her. If we wondered whether anyone was smart enough to outwit the wicked Haman, we now see that Esther can run circles around him. And if we doubted that the wicked are punished, we have only to look at the gallows in Haman’s back yard. He certainly never expected to test them himself. —Carol Bechtel

As you pray, ask God to help you be ready to use your gifts for others’ good and God’s glory.

About the Author

The Rev. Dr. Carol Bechtel is Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan where she has taught since 1994. Dr. Bechtel preaches and teaches widely and is a General Synod Professor of Theology in the Reformed Church in America. She served as President of the RCA’s General Synod and moderator of its General Synod Council. She also serves as the Executive Director of the American Waldensian Society. Her publications include a commentary on Esther for the Interpretation series, and several Bible study books and curricula.

She now lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband, Tom Mullens. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Her hobbies include singing, cooking, gardening, and the Celtic harp.