Books & Reading · Heart


Don’t you just love a good story? I know I do. It’s why my college degree is in English Lit. I read non-fiction books, too, but I much prefer to get lost in a good novel. My husband calls them my “rainbows and fairies” books, but I don’t care. I keep reading them.

I think that’s why I love the book of Esther so much. It reads like a fairy tale. A peasant girl wins the favor of the king and becomes the heroine of her people. It captivates me every time.

Our youth group has been in Esther the past two weeks in our iDiscipleship reading, and as always, I’m enjoying finding new insights from this wonderful narrative as I study it with my middle school girls.
Here are a couple thoughts I’ve had this time through:
1. Esther spent 12 months preparing for one night with the king (2:12). Day after day for an entire year, she underwent “treatments” so that she would be beautiful and pleasing to Xerxes. How well am I prepared for times I spend with the King of Kings? Do I even think about making my heart ready to be with Him?
2. Human trafficking is a horrific reality in the world today, not just in foreign, third-world countries, but right here in the United States. I am horrified by the idea of girls being taken from their families and forced into the sex trade, and rightly so. But sometimes I forget that almost the exact same thing happened to Esther and many other young women in Persia (2:8), with the exception that instead of serving many men’s whims, they only belonged to one man, the king. But still, God used those circumstances to bring about something wonderful.
3. The Jews celebrated their triumph over their enemies by giving gifts to the poor (9:22). Even in their rejoicing of their own good fortune, they didn’t neglect to remember those less fortunate than them. Do I do this? I know it’s typical to remember the poor around Christmas-time, with coat drives, and bake sales, and Salvation Army bell ringers. But what about the rest of the time? When other good things are happening in my life? Do I remember those who have less than I do?
Those are just some of the questions that crossed my mind these past two weeks. Things I’d never thought about before when reading Esther (and I’ve read it many times). I love how God’s word always has new things to show me if I’m willing to look hard enough.
If you are hungry for more insight into this amazing book, Beth Moore’s It’s Tough Being a Woman is great, and so far I’m enjoying Tommy Tenney’s Finding Favor with the King, although I can’t vouch for the whole book, because I’m not done with it yet.
And if, like me, you love a good novel, there are lots of great adaptations of this story out there. Ones I’ve read and liked include Chosen: the lost diaries of Queen Esther, The Gilded Chamber and Hadassah. Also, the movie One Night with the King is fantastic. Just remember, these are stories, not Scripture. Only God’s word is complete truth!


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