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Esther & Xerxes: Can You Imagine?

Esther and XerxesThe story of this biblical couple is filled with graphic contrasts.

Xerxes, who makes no claim to know or believe in the God of the Hebrews, is the raucous and philandering king of a vast empire. When he meets Esther, she is a virgin.

Xerxes is surrounded by indescribable opulence and luxury.

Esther is an orphan being raised by her uncle.

Xerxes is a man of indulgence, impulse, and great passion. Esther is a humble worshiper of Yahweh.

Xerxes lives in a royal bubble, protected from uninvited visitors and isolated from unplanned conversation. Esther is a woman at the mercy of her husband’s station.

Even for the most prepared brides whose grooms are of like faith and character, meaningful conversation in marriage is a challenge. Can you imagine what Esther faced?

When it came time for a life-and-death discussion with her husband, how was Esther successful in helping her husband understand? What melted these extremes and opened his heart? The Bible tells us that because she knew the critical importance of this encounter with Xerxes, Esther fasted and prayed. Before she approached her husband, she approached God.

For three days, instead of eating or drinking, she bowed before the Lord and pleaded for His mercy. And wisdom. We don’t know how many of the details she may have shared with her friends, but we know that Esther also invited them to join her. She even called for a season of prayer among the entire Hebrew population living in Persia.

Then as Esther entered into the conversation with her husband, she was polite, gentle, gracious, and humble. She didn’t blame; she didn’t whine or complain. Because she had thought it through, she chose not to disclose her entire request but to use her opening conversation to invite her husband to talk about the details later, over dinner.

The Lord gave Queen Esther great discernment when she talked to her spouse. He can do the same for you, if you seek His guidance. From God’s Word . . . “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” —Romans 12:9 – 10

Their Legacy of Prayer

Reflect On: Esther 3 – 5

Praise God: For His perfect timing and His ability to work mightily to accomplish His will.

Offer Thanks: That God is orchestrating events and providing on your behalf when difficult situations arise, and that He has given you the gift of faith to walk forward with confidence in His mercy.

Confess: That you often do not trust God’s timing, and that you tend to be consumed by a fear that drives you to turn to people or to some other power outside of His provision. Ask God: To give you discernment, hope, and confidence in His plan and His timing. For His strength and ability to rescue you from the forces that would destroy your marriage.

Listen: “Dear children, I am a very present help in time of trouble and have made all the resources of heaven available to you. Come boldly into My presence, and I will give you grace and mercy and all you need. Do not worry about anything. Pray about everything. You are Mine, and I will never forsake you.”

Pray: Father in heaven, we are weak and often fearful, but You are strong and have settled the future. You are the Creator and Ruler of all things. We need Your help to trust Your Word and rely on Your promises. Please equip us to face every challenge in our marriage with prayer, grace, and courage as we put our hope in You. Thank You for Your amazing plan and perfect timing.

Amen.


From Couples of the Bible, ©2013 by Bobbie & Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). Used by permission.

 

Couples of the BibleCouples of the Bible offers a 52-week overview of Scripture as seen through the tragedies and triumphs of biblical couples. You will be reacquainted with the obstacles and outcomes of familiar couples like Abraham & Sarah…and meet some lesser-known couples like Othniel & Aksah. Each week focuses on one couple of the Bible, from Adam & Eve to Christ & His Bride. You will read their story, learn about their cultural setting and explore how their story can teach you important truths about your own marriage. Each week you will be guided with questions applying biblical truth to your relationship with your spouse. And you’ll finish the week with a time of reflection, thanksgiving and prayer. Whatever your season of marriage, this book will draw you closer to God and strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

Comments

  1. 1 year ago
    lisa says

    Esther was a strong woman and trusted God and her husband to do the right thing. God used her by also believing in her family background, just as he uses us where we are. I am so glad that God is bigger than all are problems. He will be there regardless of what choices our spouses make, but it helps when we’re both on the same team, so keep praying and talking to our husbands about their lives.

  2. 1 year ago
    Esther says

    Since my name is Esther, I have often thought about this woman living in a pagan society, and even married to a pagan king. How she must have recognized her calling–to be a woman of faith! The comments this morning made me reflect on the necessity of relating to a man in submission, and in humility, and in purity, and in God given wisdom to win him to a path of love and righteousness.

  3. 1 year ago
    Leila says

    I am not a “couple”. Rather, I am a Christ believing single woman. I don’t know the reason for God choosing to keep me single. However, I would appreciate a devotional book on being a Christ believing single woman and to apply biblical truths to my life.
    Thank you,

  4. Yep, I’m living it. Sometimes I get myself confused with the biblical Esther and need to tell myself…you’re not Esther. God has some kind of parallel thing going on with me that I can’t explain either that or I’m crazy. But I don’t think so. He loves me. I know that now. And my life has been training for the event. I’m excited to see what it is. I’m excited to get the download that God KNOWS me. I love that everything He does is on purpose. I see only part and so I make stuff up as I go but now I trust Him and can just chill out. He’s got me. :) Praise God!

  5. 1 year ago
    Prisca Kurgat says

    Praise God, I am so humbled this day since the Lord has touched my heart through the book of Esther. When I think of what the Lord did to Esther I shed tears. May He do to our souls what He dis to Esther. Praise be to God Forever. Amen.

  6. 1 year ago
    Cheri says

    Praise GOD! He always knows what we need even before we ask! This is food for anyone want to grow spiritually in life and marriage

  7. 1 year ago
    lecrecia says

    this of what I read seemed so true to me today. in my marriage I feel the tesion ,no respect at times, even no love. I feel strains being beared down upon us I don’t know if this is trail and tribulations that were faceing but I wish my husband would understand me more on certain topics. I wish and look up above for like please god just give us all a break together as a family. all the sruggles and stress day by day.we have 3 boys so it all becomes a hand ful. but just a break. inorder for us to get rest peace and so we can think clearly.and to love and honor one another like we should

  8. 1 year ago
    Loretta says

    I’m in a small bible study group of women and we’re currently studying the book of Esther. The difference is we are looking at it from Esther’s point of view based on Beth Moore’s study. It’s amazing what Esther went through in order to save her people.

  9. Great way to start the day on a Monday morning at the beginning of a new week. The Word hit the target; once again challenged to be ‘hands off’ and allow God to fulfill His plan. We/I am so impatient at times and appreciate this reminder to let God be God.
    Blessings from Canada