Esther – The Voice of Esther
By: Melanie Manning
I absolutely love the book of Esther and have read it so many times. The book follows the story of Esther as she is chosen to become Queen of Persia whilst keeping her Jewish identity a secret. Esther’s life reveals that women who pray and walk faithfully with God can be used mightily for His kingdom. Amen!
One of the reasons I can’t get enough of the book of Esther is because of what it reveals about God. It is often said that God is absent through the book of Esther, as He is not mentioned, but when I read Esther I sense God’s presence and can see the Father’s constant protection over her.
“And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem
to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.” Esther 2:11
This is how I imagine God watching over us. Psalm 121 v 4 states “indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep.”
It is clear that God is at work, using his people to save the Jews. Esther’s faith is evident as she spends time in prayer and fasting seeking God’s guidance and favour.
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
I imagine Esther looking in the mirror and wondering how on earth she managed to become Queen. Would she have wanted to take the job if she knew that God was placing her in that position to stop the genocide of the Jews?
If God had told me a number of years ago that I would be the founder of a charity, I would have been a reluctant leader! When God calls you to leadership at an appointed timed, ‘For such a time as this”, you know that you can do it and that God is with you.
Esther has so many leadership qualities that we can strive to achieve as leaders, but here are just a few:
- IDENTITY – It’s important to know your identity and be comfortable with who God has created you to be. I recently saw ‘The Greatest Showman’ (which I highly recommend!), a true story about a visionary who forms a circus with people who are regarded by others as misfits. One of the songs is called ‘This is Me’, which summarises how we need to accept who we are and celebrate our uniqueness:
‘Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me.’
Esther was living in exile, but achieved success without giving up her identity as a Jew.
- 2. HUMILITY – Humility as a leader is essential, focusing on the people we are leading, not on ourselves.
Esther did not turn her back on her cousin Mordecai when she became Queen, she put her people’s needs before her own.
- WISDOM – I often pray for wisdom in my work because I know I can’t do it in my own strength. We need godly wisdom, not just good ideas, to be a successful leader.
Esther intentionally waited before approaching the king. She didn’t make her request at the first banquet (Esther 5 v 1-7). She knew she needed to wait for god given wisdom.
- BRAVERY – It is important to lead with a clear vision, which often requires you to be brave, as people around you might not agree, or may question your decision.
Esther risked her life going to the king, but she knew exactly what she had to say and why.
“After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16)
- BE A VOICE – Leadership requires you to speak on the behalf of others for many reasons. People may be afraid, feel disempowered or lack confidence. Some people feel they have no voice because they have been ignored or silenced. It is not always easy for a leader to take on this responsibility…
Esther used her voice, pleading to the King for her people, even though she feared for her own life. The desire for justice for her people was stronger than her fears. She knew she is their only voice.
The wonderful thing about being a leader is that you get to support and empower others so they can discover their voice, going on to reach their God-given potential.
- Take some time to pray for each of these 5 areas of leadership.
- Is there one area you find more difficult? If so, ask God for opportunities to develop this skill.
- Ensure that you have a Mordecai figure who you trust in your life. They will provide support, protection and prayers as you journey as a leader.