Sunday, August 14, 2016

Top Secret

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 2:8-11

TO CHEW ON: "Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so." Esther 2:10

Why was that man looking at her, Esther wondered as she hurried home from the market. A few days later pounding at the door interrupted their meal. A servant of King Xerxes was there. “She has been chosen for the king,” he said to her cousin Mordecai.

Esther was a beautiful young Jewish girl whose grandparents had been taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Because her parents had died when she was little, she had been raised by her kind cousin Mordecai.

Nebuchadnezzar was now dead and the Persian king Xerxes ruled from his palace in Susa. He had recently done away with his first wife Vashti. Now he was looking for a beautiful replacement to be his new queen.

Mordecai looked shocked and sad at the servant’s words. But the king had ordered it. What could they do but obey?

As Esther packed her things, Mordecai came into the room. “You will be fine,” he said to her. “You are kind and beautiful. You will make new friends. Who knows, you may even be the new queen. But do one thing for me – and yourself. Keep it a secret that we are Jewish.”

"Many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai" - Esther 2:8

Of course the story probably didn’t happen exactly like that. But we can be pretty sure Esther went to the palace with mixed feelings. She may have been excited and looking forward to the new adventures there. But she was also probably a little nervous and afraid.

When she got to the palace, things went very well. She soon became a favorite of Hegai who was in charge of the women. He gave Esther and her servants the best rooms in the harem. And even though Esther may not have known why it was important, she kept her nationality a secret. She never breathed a word about being a Jew.

Opportunities like the one that came to Esther sometimes come to us too. We may get special attention at school or church, be asked to give an interview on TV or be chosen as class president. When these times come, your loved ones may be full of advice. Be wise and listen to what they say, like Esther followed the advice of Mordecai.

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me wise advisers. Amen.

MORE: Advisers
Parents aren’t the only people who can give us wise counsel. Teachers, coaches, pastors, grandparents, older brothers and sisters are just some of the people whose advice we may want to follow.

- Who are the advisers in your life?

- What advice have they given you in the past? Did you follow it?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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