The scene shifts away from the king to two Jews living in the Persian kingdom.
The first is Mordecai. The text gives us a little background on his character. He is from the tribe of Benjamin, specifically a descendant of Kish. This information will play an important role later in the story.
The second person introduced is Mordecai’s younger cousin, an orphan he took in as his own, named Hadassah (her Hebrew name), or Esther (her non-Hebrew name). It was common practice for Jews in the Diaspora (those who did not return to Israel after their exile ended) to have a “vernacular” name. This allowed them to fit into their foreign societies better, as well as avoid possible conflicts because of their heritage.
Xerxes’ decision to find a new wife has gone into effect, and Esther has been pulled into the running. She is placed under the care of one of the king’s servants, and before long she wins his favor.
Esther is beautiful. But more than that, she carries herself with a wisdom far beyond her years as we will see.
In the background, during Esther’s beginning rise, we see Mordecai checking in on her every day. He has taken the role of adoptive father seriously and the relationship between Esther and Mordecai will play a vital role in the challenges ahead.
There’s a powerful but simple truth present in this passage. One we often hear, but rarely believe.
God has already given us everything we need to fulfill the purpose He will call us to.
So many of the events that had to happen to get to this point were never Esther’s choice. She did not choose to lose her parents, or be taken in by her older cousin. She never chose to be made beautiful in just the way the king would find most appealing.
And yet, when the time came, all of these seemingly disconnected variables came together to move Esther into exactly the place she needs to be so that she could accomplish exactly what God has set for her to do.
Nothing about your story is by accident. The way you look, the way you speak. What happened to you in the past, where you are living now, even the fact that you are reading this plan – all of it was by design to get you where you need to be so that you could begin to fulfill the calling God has assigned you to do.
Takeaway: There are no coincidences, only designed opportunities.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I cannot fathom how You have designed every part of this world, and yet still care about the details of my life. Help me seize the opportunities You guide me towards, and trust that You have already given me what I need.