As we read the Bible, we usually discover bible characters whose lives — in full or part— are closely relatable to ours. That if you met them in person, both of you would get along very well. Esther in the Bible is that bible character for many effective leaders as they share a similar set of leadership traits.
Today, we are going to be looking at the story of Queen Esther found in the book of Esther and unpack insightful valuable lessons about self-leadership.
Simple Story of Esther in the Bible.
Around 478 BC, when the exiled people of Israel lived in cities controlled by the great Persian Empire, there was a woman of Jewish descent called Esther. Esther, who was also called Hadassah, was a beautiful woman and the wife to Xerxes, ruler of the Persian Empire.
A time came when King Xerxes appointed and promoted a man called Haman to the highest official position — second to only the King. Haman began to resent Mordecai (Esther’s Uncle and adopted father) because He would not tremble or bow before him as a show of reverence. Fueled by indignation towards Mordecai, Haman plotted to annihilate the Jews —Mordecai’s and Esther’s people. To this effect, he issued an empire-wide decree sanctioned by the approving seal of the King’s ring.
On a specific day, all Jews were to be attacked and slain across the entire 127 provinces within the Empire.
When Mordecai knew of this evil plan, he grieved bitterly and then communicated with Esther to do something to save the endangered Jewish Community scattered across the Empire. Mordecai particularly urged Esther to use her influence as Queen to speak with the king so that their kinsmen may be saved.
Faced with the risk of losing her life, she went into the presence of the King and invited him —along with Haman— to a special banquet she was hosting. At the turn of events, Haman was executed and a second decree was issued by the King permitting the Israelites to defend themselves against any assailants.
When that day came, the Israelites were victorious in destroying those who sought to destroy them. In so doing, they were delivered from Haman’s evil plan and were preserved from destruction.
5 Lessons on Esther from the Bible.
Lesson #1: Like every human, Esther had fears but she faced them.
Now by Persian law of old, anyone who entered into the presence of the king uninvited was to be executed UNLESS the King stretched out his golden scepter towards that person as a show of favorable regard. It had been a while since she was last invited by the king so she feared she had lost favor in the eyes of the King and could be killed for disobeying the law. Nonetheless, she determined in her heart to do what was right —advocating justice for the innocent.
Lesson #2: Moving from ‘self’ to ‘others’ is entering a higher dimension of leadership.
Mordecai’s charge in Esther 4:14 prompts Esther to use her other focus and Outer focus to see beyond herself. When she realizes it is not just about herself, she is driven by the strength of selflessness to the point of saying, “If I perish I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
Lesson #3: Obedience and submission play a vital role in outstanding leadership.
Followership is the road to Leadership. Esther was Queen, she didn’t have to take orders from Mordecai or anyone who wasn’t the king. But she chose to listen and be obedient. Esther followed Mordecai’s instruction to keep her ethnicity a secret. If she hadn’t complied maybe Haman could have neutralized the influence she had.
Lesson 4: There is always room for spiritual preparation.
The proposed date for the destruction of the Jews was not decided on by logic but by supernatural means — A Purim was consulted (Esther 3:7). Esther’s fast and the corporate fast was fitting preparatory step to take. For Esther to observe and call for a 3-day city-wide fast among the Jews in Susa, means she believed in the purpose, power, and practice of this spiritual exercise.
Additional resource: How to create a spiritual fasting schedule that improves self-awareness
Lesson #5: Plan and then take action.
When Esther finished fasting, she didn’t wait for any spectacular spiritual or supernatural event to take place. She made plans concerning the bouquet and stepped in front of the King.
FAQs about Esther in the Bible.
Where can I find the story of Esther in the Bible?
The story of Esther can be found in the Book of Esther the 17th book of the Old Testament Bible, between Nehemiah (16th) and Job (18th).
In the opening chapters of the book, Esther becomes Queen.
Midway, she has to go before the king uninvited to avert Haman’s plan to wipe out her people.
Finally, the closing chapters contain how the Jews defeated their enemies and the sanctions Esther made to institute the celebration of the Purim festival; a feast to commemorate how they were preserved from extinction at the hands of Haman.
What did the story of Esther in the bible represent?
Two things, the story of Esther in the Bible represents are courage and selflessness, especially in the face of adversity.
Esther displayed courage by intervening on behalf of her people despite the risk of death. Also, Her courageous act exemplifies selflessness as she prioritizes the well-being of her fellow Jews above her life and personal safety.
What is the story of Esther in the bible about?
The story of Esther is about a young Jewish heroine and queen who risked her life to save her people. In this suspense-filled story, are gems of leadership lessons that everyone could learn from and emulate. It teaches about courage, justice, selflessness, family, and self-leadership. It has its place in the bible, though nonliterally, to show God’s commitment to his promise, people, and plans,
Esther, a young Jewish woman, rises to become queen of Persia. When her people face annihilation, she risks her life to intervene, using her influence to persuade the king to spare her people. Esther’s leadership highlights the importance of taking risks, advocating for justice, and standing up for those in need.
In the biblical Book of Esther, we find the captivating and inspirational story of Queen Esther. The story of Esther showcases themes of courage, selflessness, and justice in the face of adversity.
Through her fearless intervention, Queen Esther not only displays incredible bravery but also teaches us valuable lessons about leadership and the importance of prioritizing the well-being of others.
Illustration by Mr Bible Head
Featured Image by Sweet Publishing