17th Sunday after Trinity – Sunday 27th September 2015 – Esther 7:1-6, 9-10 9:9-10
Where are the surprises?
Whose voices do we not hear?
What challenges us?
Surprises – do you agree with what I find surprising in the text?
- That in this Continuous Reading of the Old Testament, the Proverbs’ Good Wife is followed by this reading in Esther. Is she a good wife? Do good wives manipulate their husbands?
- The feasts, the wine, the garments she wears (5:1), the speech she gives, all meticulously planned and carried out. She was chosen by the King for her looks but she’s no bimbo.
- The speech she gives (v3,4) is very clever. Look at the use of: royal protocol, the 3 (destroyed, killed, annihilated), the comparison (if we had been sold merely as slaves), the ending (for this damage to the King) emphasising the effect on him, all add up to some persuasive oratory.
The voices we don’t hear – What might they say?
- We don’t hear from Queen Vashti, the wife the King ‘deposed’. I suspect she may be cheering Esther on.
- The Jewish nation depending on Esther’s skill in persuading the King to cancel the decree made in 3:9. I wonder if they were 24×7 fasting and praying.
- We know Haman is ‘terrified’ v7. Foiled by a women. In his arrogance 5:11 he thinks he has won. I wonder what he thinks about the Jewish people now.
What challenges us in 2015?
- Being the right person at the right time and doing what needs to be done produces the right result. If we recognise when we are that person.
- Esther’s carefully crafted speech wasn’t spontaneous, I suspect. Let’s also carefully craft our account of why we believe.
- Esther was backed up by prayer, I suspect. What people in positions of authority are we backing up in prayer?