Happy International Women’s Day to all of my fellow gals out there. What is International Women’s Day? It “is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.”
Being abroad has reminded me of how lucky I am to live in a country like America where women have a lot more freedom and equality compared to other countries in the world. However, there is still loads of room to promote gender equality and show the world just how powerful women really are. It is up to us to lead the way in creating a world where our daughters will feel empowered to do whatever they want, go wherever they want and be whoever they want to be.
On this International Women’s Day, I wanted to take a look into one of my favorite leading ladies in the bible who set a great example for us to follow: Queen Esther.
Who is Queen Esther?
Esther’s story starts with a king, King Xerxes or King Ahasuerus, who wanted to show off his “possession,” aka his wife, Queen Vashti. The queen refused, which called for the king to divorce her and call for a nation-wide beauty pageant to find his new queen.
Esther was one of those women who was forced to compete in the beauty pageant. Here is a little background on Esther, she was a Jewish woman who was being raised by her cousin Mordecai because her parents had died.
At the beauty pageant, Esther’s beauty won over Hegai who was in charge of the king’s attempt to find a new queen. When Esther went before the king, he instantly fell in love with her beauty, placed the royal crown on her head and called for a banquet to show off the beauty of his new queen. Through all of this, she had to hide her Jewish nationality because it was very dangerous.
The king highly respected Esther because she notified him of an assassination conspiracy attempt on his life by two guards thanks to information from her cousin Mordecai. However, Mordecai got into some trouble when he refused to bow down to a high noble, Haman. Haman was furious and decided he wanted to have Mordecai killed as well as the Jewish nation as a whole. He then convinced the king to have all Jews executed because they were against the king’s rule. The king agreed and a date was set for their execution, but he still had no idea his queen was a part of this Jewish nation.
Mordecai finally broke the news to Esther that her people were in danger. Esther was fearful for her life and the life of her people. In those days, it was unheard of for a queen to make a request to her king, but Esther knew what she had to do in order to attempt to save her nation. Esther asked for her people to complete a three-day fast with her before she would go to the king.
That night, King Xerxes was reading up on moments during his reign. He remembered that a man, named Mordecai, had saved him from being assassinated by his guards. He called for Haman to celebrate this man for being so noble, brave and looking out for the king. Little did he know that Haman wanted Mordecai dead.
After her fast, Esther boldly asked the king her request to save her people at a banquet she prepared where Haman was secretly planning to have Mordecai be killed. She told him that Haman solely wanted to kill the Jews to make money for himself. The king was furious and immediately called for Haman to be executed.
Thanks to Esther’s bravery and commitment to her people, she and her cousin were given Haman’s estate and a decree was written by the king to protect all of the Jewish people.
Queen Esther risked her own life to save her people, the people that she came from and the people that she loved enough to possibly faith death. What a selfless, loyal, brave woman.