Once again Esther went to speak to the king. This time she fell down at his feet, crying and begging, “Please stop Haman’s evil plan to have the Jews killed!” … King Xerxes then said to Esther and Mordecai, “I have already ordered Haman to be hanged and his house given to Esther, because of his evil plans to kill the Jews. I now give you permission to make a law that will save the lives of your people. You may use my ring to seal the law, so that it can never be changed.” [Esther 8:3,7,8 CEV]

I love the way that the Jews are delivered by the hand of a non-Jewish king. When I think of Xerxes, I remember that God often works in ways that are outside the norm. He seems to work so much in the shadows. In our darkest times he brings good through unexpected people.

Esther was living in such a times. Reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Haman, one of Xerxes counselors, had engineered the extermination of all of the Jews in the realm. Things looked really dark when Esther's cousin Mordecai challenged her to approach the king about Haman's plan.

Esther was afraid. Xerxes could have her killed for making such a request. In an act of courage she went to the king unannounced. Xerxes had mercy instead. On her. On all of the Jews. It reminds me of my need to think outside of my religious box. And to be courageous when I am afraid.

I am weak Lord. I am afraid. Help me to take my eyes off the darkness and see your light.

... this devotion is part of the z2a bible words series.

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