“Queen Esther,” Old Testament Stories (2021)
“Queen Esther,” Old Testament Stories
Esther 2–5; 7–9
Brave in a time of danger
Some Israelites were called Jews. Esther was a Jew who lived in Persia. Her parents died, so her cousin Mordecai took care of her. She was invited to the king’s palace with other young women in the kingdom. The king wanted a new queen, and he chose Esther.
The king had a servant named Haman who rose to great power. Haman helped the king rule the land. The king made everyone bow to Haman.
But Mordecai would not bow to Haman. Mordecai would bow only to the Lord. This made Haman angry. He wanted to punish Mordecai and all of the Jews.
Haman told the king that the Jews did not follow the king’s laws. So the king let Haman make a new law: on a certain day, all the Jews would be killed.
Mordecai asked Esther to talk to the king. The king could change Haman’s law and save the Jews. But Esther was afraid. Sometimes the king killed people who came to talk to him without an invitation.
Mordecai asked Esther to think about the Jews who would be killed. Mordecai said the Lord may even have placed Esther in the king’s palace to save the Jews.
Esther knew she must talk to the king, even if it meant she could be killed. Esther asked all the Jews and her servants to fast with her.
After fasting for three days, Esther prepared herself and went to see the king.
When she approached the king, he held out his scepter. This meant the king was happy to see her and would not put her to death. He asked what she wanted. Esther told the king that her people were in danger. Because of Haman’s law, she and all the Jews in the kingdom would be killed.
The king was angry with Haman and put him to death. The king made a new law that protected the Jews. Now they were allowed to defend themselves if anyone tried to hurt them.
Esther’s faith in the Lord and her courage to talk to the king saved her people. Instead of death and sorrow, there was a feast. The Jews celebrated.