We all love Cinderella stories. Something about the girl who had nothing going for her, being picked up and placed in a position of power and royalty makes me go wild with joy! I am a Cinderella story in the making and so are you – and long before Cinderella story was envisioned by Disney to become a movie, our Father God wrote our Cinderella stories on the cross of Calvary when He sent Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus reconciled us to God the Father and thereby bestowed on us the honor of becoming the sons and daughters of the King of kings.
There is one real-life Cinderella story in the Bible – it is the book of Esther. Here is a little Bible un-trivia: Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention the name of God explicitly – but no reader can deny the hand of God that is all over the book of Esther.
For those who may not know, here is the story in a nutshell: Esther was the Jewish daughter of a family of migrants who along with several Jews lived in Persia. She was an orphan and was living with her guardian, her uncle Mordecai. Her Jewish name was Hadassah. King Xerxes was the king in Persia and he decided to throw a lavish party. During the party, he asked his wife to appear with the royal crown before the dignitaries and invitees. (There is a lot of speculation as what this seemingly “harmless” request meant…but that is not where I am going today). Long story short, Queen Vashti refused to obey the king’s request and was dethroned. A search was made in the empire for a new queen and young Hadassah was among the young women who got picked to be a contestant in the pageant. The winner would not be Miss Universe, but more like Mrs. Persian Empire! Hadassah found herself sporting a new Persian name – Esther (so no one would know she was Jewish) because her uncle gave her strict orders to remain covert. Esther was picked and crowned the queen.
But like every perfect story, there was an evil enemy – Haman, the king’s trusted aide who wanted to annihilate the Jews. He devised a devious plan and would have gotten his way had it not been for Mordecai who alerted Esther and told her to step up and stand up for her people – for she was in the royal palace for “such a time as this”. Mordecai told her that salvation would come for her people from one source or another – but she had to choose if she wanted to be a part of it.
After fasting and praying, Esther braved all odds and entered the court of the king uninvited. This meant certain death, unless the king showed favor by extending the scepter to her. The king extended the scepter showing her his favor. Esther who had knelt in front of the king, now touched the scepter and stood up.
Today, the Lord is calling His Esthers to rise up. You have gone through many adversities and hardships – in your Persia (godless place), God is extending His scepter. He is allowing you to find favor. Stand up! Rise up! Secondly, the favor led to authority: Esther was able to tell the king her identity and the peril her people faced. The king gave her authority to do to her enemies as she seemed fit. This is the time for a divine retribution- whatever the enemy wanted to steal from you, God is allowing you to take back. Thirdly, both Esther and Mordecai received honor. Favor, Authority and Honor.
Esther undertook a journey from being an orphan to queen. Before Esther became the queen, she had to spend 12 months being anointed with oils and perfumes. Anointing changed her from an orphan to become a queen. You and I need to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit – the name of Jesus is like anointing oil being poured out. (Songs of Solomon 1: 1-3). Anointing, combined with prayer and fasting made Esther go bold and receive favor!
May this month be filled with anointing that releases favor into your lives! Rise up Esther!