Meet Esther: What Kind of Woman Was She in the Bible?

Meet Esther: What Kind of Woman Was She in the Bible? June 7, 2024

Woman with a flower crown. Meet Esther devotional.
Want to know what kind of woman Esther was in the Bible? Read more to learn how Esther fulfilled her purpose and created a lasting legacy. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

The story of Esther is one of my favorite books in the Bible, so much so that I named my cat Esther. I can’t say the Book of Esther has been completely life-changing for me. However, the reminder of Esther’s courage and faith inspires me in my daily walk with God. Taking the time to study the Book of Esther will teach you how to humbly walk with God and do His will.

The Beginning

The Book of Esther starts with a scene where King Xerxes is having a party and is rejected by Queen Vashti. Then, the book tells the story of how Queen Vashti was replaced by Queen Esther through a series of events that could seem like they are orchestrated by God Himself.

The story of Esther is one that all Christian women should care about and dive into because there are many lessons about being a powerful, Christian, godly woman. Esther did not show power the way Vashti did, and there are some key differences between the two women who were both Persian Queens.

The characteristics of Esther are sure to give every Christian woman the inspiration and guidance she needs to be courageous and full of faith. Esther found that with God’s help, she could fulfill His purpose for her life.

Esther’s Family And Background

Esther grew up as a young orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai. The family background is not discussed much in the story of Esther. However, we do know she was part of the tribe of Benjamin; her father was Abihail.

Esther’s original name was Hadassah, which means myrtle, but once she entered the King’s harem, her name was changed to Esther. The name Esther, which means star, reflected her new identity within the Persian empire.

There was a certain Jew in the citadel of Susa, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. He brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter; for she had neither father nor mother. The maiden was fair and beautiful; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter. – Esther 2:5-7 (WEB)

Esther’s Journey To Becoming Queen

After Vashti rejected the King’s orders, he set out to find a new Queen. While King Xerxes was not the most noble person in the world, it is interesting to see how Queen Vashti’s pride paved the way for a humble and courageous Queen to take her place. However, Esther’s journey to queen began long before she entered the harem.

Her daily life as an orphan taught her about tragedy, heartache, and loss. Her actions clearly show that she respects her cousin Mordecai and trusts him enough to follow his instructions and do what he says.

Although God is never mentioned in Esther’s story, Esther’s faith is built on a strong foundation. You don’t become courageous and obedient like that overnight. When you do a character study of Esther, you will see that Esther’s character was built over time and through her life experiences. Esther’s courage and faith were the defining reason she became the next Queen of Persia.

Esther entered the King’s harem because King Xerxes sought a new Queen. Entering the harem was the beginning of the process of being considered as the next Queen. During this process, Esther underwent months of beauty treatments. Esther’s beauty and favor with the King’s eunuch gave her opportunities and insight into what would elevate the King’s view of her.

In Esther 2:8-9 it says:

So, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together to the citadel of Susa, to the custody of Hegai, Esther was taken into the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. The maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness from him. He quickly gave her cosmetics and her portions of food, and the seven choice maidens who were to be given her out of the king’s house. He moved her and her maidens to the best place in the women’s house.

Esther’s Courage And Faith

Pursuing God’s purpose for your life is not always easy and will more than likely require faith and courage. You can walk around and say you want to do great things for The Kingdom of God. However, the reality is it takes preparation to get to that point. Esther was not the only Bible character who had to go through preparation to get to her position in life. We all need to be prepared for the next season God has for us.

As Jesus said in Luke 5:37-39 (WEB):

No one puts new wine into old wine skins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved. No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

Not only was Esther brave, but she was patient, obedient, and humble. Esther was the kind of woman who understood life wasn’t all about beauty treatments and enjoying royal treatment. The foundation of everything she did was her faith, and her faith gave her the courage to do the hard things she was in a position to do.

Esther was in the right place at the right time. Her obedience, faithfulness to God, and loyalty to her people changed the history of ancient Persia. Esther’s courage and faith didn’t start when she saw her cousin Mordecai mourning at the palace gates. She lived a life of courage. Although she was Queen, she was humble. Esther understood the importance of building relationships that would help her in her journey.

Three Examples Of Esther’s Bravery

She was loyal to the Jewish people. Esther’s role as Queen ultimately came down to whether she would use her position to help save her people. Esther risked her life, and although she was afraid, she was willing to do so. She was a Jewish woman living in the King’s Palace in a foreign land. According to Mordecai’s instructions, Esther’s royal crown did not give her the right to turn a blind eye to what was about to happen to the Jewish people. It took courage for Esther to:

Approach the King Uninvited

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Susa, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:16 (WEB)

Reveal Her Jewish identity

Then Esther the queen answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for male and female slaves, I would have held my peace, although the adversary could not have compensated for the king’s loss.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen, “Who is he, and where is he who dared presume in his heart to do so?” Esther said, “An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. – Esther 7:3-6 (WEB)

Interceding On Behalf Of Her People

Esther spoke yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and begged him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his plan that he had planned against the Jews. Then the king held out to Esther the golden scepter. So Esther arose, and stood before the king. She said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and the thing seems right to the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see the evil that would come to my people? How can I endure to see the destruction of my relatives?” – Esther 8:3-6 (WEB)

Life Application

As Christian women, we can learn much about pursuing a life of faith and finding God’s purpose from the story of Esther.

I have always wanted to write full-time, which is the life I am pursuing now. As I have journeyed down this path, I have learned that with every step of faith, growth takes place.

Esther has taught me that God will show me my purpose if I have the faith and courage to walk the road right in front of me humbly and live out the imperfect life I have been given.

How does Esther’s willingness to embrace her identity and fulfill her purpose challenge you to seek and pursue God’s purpose for your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share in the comments below.

About Heather Bixler
Heather is a mom of three young adults, has been married to her husband for 22 years, and is a proud fur mom to her dog, Iris, and two cats, Picasso and Esther. Heather has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. You can read more about the author here.
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