Today is the third installment of a short background on four major stories of adoption in the Bible, and how we can relate to them in today's adoptions. We started with Moses, then Ruth, and today we're going to talk about Esther! Let's jump right in!
If you're not familiar with the story of Esther, you can find it in the Old Testament book of Esther.
The book of Esther starts by detailing a party the king was hosting. and reading about it makes me wish I was there! It was full of extravagant food and drink, all the best people were there, and it lasted for 180 days! At some point during the party, the king asks for the queen to come "display her beauty to the people and nobles" (Esther 1:11NIV). But she refuses! This refusal sparks a whole uproar with the king and his advisors, ending with the queen being banished and a search for new queen began, think "Biblical Beauty Pageant."
In Chapter 2, we learn about Mordecai and his cousin, Hadassah, "who he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. Hadassah was also known as Esther, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died" (Esther2:7NIV). Esther was chosen to be one of the women brought to the palace for the "beauty pageant," and quickly became a frontrunner. This "pageant" lasted 12 months! But during this time, Esther was keeping her nationality and family background a secret, at the suggestion of her cousin, Mordecai (Esther 2:10NIV). Esther wins the king's favor, and is given the royal crown!
So Esther is very aware of her adoption, and being raised by her cousin. She trusts and obeys him when he tells her not to share her nationality right away. She might not have understood why, but she listened.
There are so many familial (or kinship) adoptions, whether it's grandparents raising grandchildren, or aunt and uncles raising nieces and nephews, this is a common family dynamic even today. And we can learn a lot from Mordecai and Esther's relationship.
SO HOW DO WE RELATE Esther TO ADOPTION TODAY?
1. God is going to provide the family for the child.
When Esther's parents died, Mordecai was able to step in and take care of her. This was not by accident, God didn't just throw Esther into a random situation. He provided for Mordecai and Esther, and continued to provide through out her time in the palace.
2. God uses each situation for His glory.
Esther very easily won favor with everyone she came into contact with, and the king noticed this. This provided her a foundation to build upon when she needed others help. The king trusted her and listened, this allowed her to speak freely with him. God used each situation Esther found herself in and His glory shown through it.
3. God will give us the courage we need.
Esther knew why she become queen, the queen before her had not followed the kings rules but acted in her own way. When Esther went before the king without being summoned, she was acting against the law but God was on her side. Esther was strong and courageous, because God was with her.
God is going to use adoption for His purpose, and He will always succeed. His plan will prevail! Even in the hard moments and seasons, God is in control. All we have to do is trust in His Ways, and step out of our comfort zones.
Illustrations by Claire Williams, from Adopted Twice for Kids
Jesus lover, wife, momma, teacher, and hopeful writer.