Here’s how Esther begins: “Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel” (v. 1-2 ESV).
This king reigns over the vast Persian Empire where numerous Jews live as exiles. King Ahasuerus soon throws a massive party. The Bible says, “… in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days” (v. 3-4 ESV).
I’ve never written anything on Esther. Never so much as mentioned her name. But it’s always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I remember watching the Veggie Tales version as a child. Captivated by the thought of a pretty girl named Esther marrying a king, saving her people from death, and—well, that’s pretty much all I remember. Only, there’s so much more.
Upon giving our lives to Christ, we struggle with lesser loves. We still find within ourselves a desire for worldly pleasures. A yearning for material possessions. A longing for satisfaction apart from Christ. There’s a battle for the affections of our hearts. And if we’re not careful, we might forget our love for God altogether.
The Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 ESV).
I would be concerned if, when getting out of bed each morning, I had no thought of communing with God. If the demands of my day kept me from He who alone provides my every breath (Acts 17:25). If the notifications on my smartphone spoke louder than the cries of my desperate soul. If the urge of extra sleep kept me from spending time with the One who has awakened my soul from death to life (Eph. 2:5).