Have you ever wondered what your purpose here on earth was for? God, in His divine knowledge had a specific plan for Esther….one that was specific to that moment in time and one that would save the Jews from being slaughtered. God ordered her steps so that every minute was in the exact place and time for His purpose. In Esther, we find a courageous young woman who recognized God had a plan for her and that her ordered steps had a divine purpose. He has a specific plan for you too and its for this exact moment in time.
Ordered Steps means Just in the nick of time
Esther was born at just the right moment in time to be the right age to be entered into a Bible-day beauty pageant and became the next Queen. Not Queen of Israel. Esther was born during the years of captivity. Her ordered steps would make her queen to King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes). The opening verse of the book of Esther that tells us her story informs us that this is the Ahasuerus who reigned over 127 provinces, from India to Ethiopia and his palace was in Shushan the citadel. He was a Persian king and Shushan is located in what is today southwestern Iran. The events of Esther’s life take place around 486-465 B.C. The previous queen, Vashti, defied the king’s summons and she lost her position as queen. Before long the king was looking for a new queen and a nation-wide beauty pageant was scheduled.
Ordered Steps means being Knitted Together for a Purpose
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb”. As God laid out his plan to save the Jews from genocide, he knitted Esther together in her mother’s womb. He created her so that she would have every single feature that would appeal to the king. And since he knitted him together too, He knew exactly what would catch the king’s eye. It wasn’t chance that Esther was in the beauty pageant. And it wasn’t good luck that had her chosen as the next queen. It was God’s divine plan who had very detailed and ordered steps for Esther.
As God laid out his plan to save the Jews from genocide, he knitted Esther together in her mother’s womb so that every single feature would appeal to king. It wasn’t change that Esther was in the beauty pageant – it was God’s divine plan.Tweet
Ordered Steps is providence at work
Our human minds have difficulty understanding the mystery of God’s providence, but Esther’s story is exactly that. God often uses the most “unlikely” of people (at least by our standards) to help accomplish His plans. Who would ever guess that a young Jewish woman named Hadassah (Esther), an orphan, would end up the queen of the greatest empire of the 5th century B.C.? God orchestrated the lives of that day to reverse the King’s decree. And He chose to work through the “weakness” of a young, orphaned, Jewish woman who was willing to be obedient to God’s plan for her life. Even if it cost her, her life.
So hold on to your seats and let’s take a ride in the fast lane. Here’s a summary the story of Esther’s life. As we tell her story, look for God’s ordered steps in Esther’s life that places her in the exact spot and time to save her people from extinction.
Our human minds have difficulty understanding the mystery of God’s providence, but Esther’s story is exactly that. God often uses the most “unlikely” of people to accomplish His plans. Who would ever guess that a young Jewish woman, an orphan, would end up the queen of the greatest empire of 5th century BC?Tweet
An Evil Plot
Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her after her parents death, was sitting at the king’s gate listening for news about his niece. At this point, Esther had been chosen to participate in a nation-wide beauty pageant and taken off to the palace. Two of the king’s eunuchs became angry at the king and devise a plan to kill him. As Mordecai sat in the king’s gate he overhears their plot to kill the king. He sends a message to Esther, who then informs the king in Mordecai’s name. His good deed is recorded in the king’s record, but the king is negligent at this point to reward Mordecai. But don’t worry. The king may be late, but he does get around to honoring Mordecai. If you’re new to Esther’s story, you’re gonna love how it unfolds.
The Plot Thickens
Not long after, the king promotes Haman, placing him over all the other officials. Everyone begins to bow to him by order of the king, showing respect for his new position. Haman likes everyone bowing to him, only Mordecai refuses. So Haman plans to have Mordecai hung and he begins to build the gallows. But he wasn’t brave enough to single handedly execute him. Rather, he devises a plan to trick the king to ordering the extinction of all Jews.
Ordered steps are for “Such a Time as This”
Timing has everything to do with ordered steps – and God’s timing is always perfectly on time. Mordecai had previously instructed Esther not to reveal to anyone that she was a Jew. But when the decree from the king was read, Mordecai hurries to Esther and tells her about the plan. Now he wants her to go to the king, identify her heritage and tell the king what Haman had planned.
Her wise uncle, seems to recognize the hand of God in her life. He says to her, “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this”? However, for Esther to approach the king, he either had to summon her or risk her life. If she came without a summons he would have to extend his staff to her, granting her permission to come. If she approached him and he did not extend his staff, she would be killed.
Timing has everything to do with ordered steps – and God’s timing is always perfectly on time.Tweet
Esther to the Rescue
Esther tells her uncle to have the Jews fast and pray for her. She and her maid will do the same. She decides that she will do as her uncle has instructed. If the king doesn’t not extend his staff, she will die. However, by the king’s order that Haman had tricked him into, she would die anyway. She tells her uncle, “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
So she approaches the king and he extends his staff and asks her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you — up to half the kingdom”! She could have right then told the king what Haman was plotting. Instead, we see wisdom in this young woman and she invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Rather than backing the king into a corner in front of everyone at court, she invites the king to a private banquet. And she includes an invitation to the man who wants to kill all the Jews.
Ordered Steps include a King who can’t sleep
One night the king can’t sleep so he has the records of the chronicles brought in and read to him. Nothing like some boring chronicles to help one fall asleep! The reader comes across the record where Mordecai informed Esther, who informed the king of the eunuchs’ plot to kill the king. The king asks what was done to reward Mordecai and he learns nothing was done. He asks servants, “who is standing in the king’s court?” – Who else, of course, but Haman.
Time for a Plot Twist
So Haman is called in. The king asks, him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor”? Haman has such a high opinion of himself and he thinks the king is talking about him. He thinks up this elaborate plan for himself and says “Let a royal robe worn by the king be brought and a horse which the king has ridden which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'”
Imagine Haman face when the king tells him to do exactly as he has said to Mordecai, the Jew! Now, Haman must put a royal robe on Mordecai and set him on a royal horse. Then he has to parade Mordecai around in the city square.
Plot Twist #2
The King and Haman go to the banquet Esther invited them to. The King says, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you”. Esther drops her bombshell of info to the king. She says, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.”
In Esther 2: 17, we find that the king loved Esther more than all the other women. So he learns that the life of the woman he loves has been threatened. He says, “Who is he, and where is he? Who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?” (Can you imagine ol’ Haman trying to slide under the table at this point? Or maybe he’s looking around the room about now for his best exit strategy.)
Esther than informs the king that it is Haman who would dare plot such a thing.
What goes around, comes around
So Esther’s story wraps up with Haman being hung on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai. The king gave the house of Haman to Esther. As for Mordecai, the king gave him his signet ring that was once given to Haman. Esther then appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman. And the story closes by telling us that Mordecai was second to the king and was great among the Jews.
God is in Control
Not one part of Esther’s life or her story is “by chance”. God knew long before Esther, King Ahasuerus, Mordecai, or Haman were born what each one of them would do. He knew about Haman’s plots. He knew the Jews would be in captivity. God knew who would be on the throne at that time. He knew that Queen Vashti would lose her position as Queen. He knew the throne would be conveniently open for Esther to step up to her moment in time. God knew Esther would follow His ordered steps for her life. And so God ordered Esther’s steps so that in that moment of time Esther would win a beauty pageant. Her ordered steps didn’t just make her the crowned winner, it would make her queen. And God knitted together a wise and courageous young woman to go before the king, uninvited, to save her people.
Not one part of Esther’s life or her story is “by chance.” God knew long before Esther, King Ahasuerus, Mordecai, or Haman were born what each one of them would do. And so God ordered Esther’s steps so that in that moment of time Esther would win a beauty pageant, placing her on the throne so she could save the entire Jewish race.Tweet
Our Steps are Ordered
Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” There is not one day of our lives that takes God by surprise. He is always at work to bring about His plan for each one of us. The people that come and go from our lives are there for a reason.
Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” There is not one day of our lives that takes God by surprise. He is always at work to bring about His plan for each one of us. The people that come and go from our lives are there for a reason.Tweet
I think about a specific pastor at a church where I once played piano. A best friend in high school. Another pastor. A co-worker who became more like a sister. My beautiful sister-in-law who I will love into eternity. My son and my daughter, my mom and my dad, my grandmother, and my husband. Each one has played a specific role and part in my life.
Some of these people are still in my life and some are not. Some have gone to heaven and some keep up with me through social media. One spent endless nights on the phone as I talked through and healed from one of the worst experiences in my life. One lets me call to discuss my “hair-brained” ideas so I can develop a plan to turn ideas into ministry. And my two young adult children are my biggest fans, encouragers, and protectors. But my mom — she’s always there. No matter how challenging I am – she’s there. Her knees have gotten to where they bother her now – mostly likely from the countless prayers she’s prayed over me.
Ordered Steps include some “Hamans”
I’ve also had some “Hamans” in my life and they make up my story too. God wasn’t surprised by a one of them and He was with me in the midst of them. And even in those times, God used them to shape me and mold me for His plan for me. Without those events in my life I would not have gone back to college. I would not have dreamed a God-sized dream and allow God to use it however He so desires. There are certainly those who don’t believe in this dream God put in my heart, but God uses even that to teach me to look to Him.
Trace Your Ordered Steps
Take some time today to think back through your life. Who are the people who have come and gone that have had the biggest impact on who you are today? Who are the “Hamans” in your life and how have they contributed to who you are? Take a moment and thank God for each one of them – even the “Hamans”. If you’re trying to figure out what God has for you, consider how these people have shaped and molded you. How have they made you who you are? How can that person you are today be used to expand and impact God’s kingdom? Your steps have been ordered and God is bringing you into His perfect plan for you.
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