On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.
Having been challenged by Mordecai and having asked him to gather all the Jews in Susa to a solemn three day fast along with herself and her young women and resolved that she will stand form for her people (4.16) she, in effect, takes her life in her hand and stands in the sight of the king.
This is no casual encounter. It is planned in minute detail over the three days of the fast, and involves her in attracting the kings attention by wearing her royal robes and being ready for whatever the king chooses to do!
If we were watching this unfold in a film, the tension would have been racked up with appropriate musical score and great camera angles and rightly so for this is the climax to which the author has been building.
The kings sees his queen and the golden sceptre is held out and in his delight at seeing his queen after thirty days his invitation is effusive in the extreme.
“What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.” v.3
But then the tension is eased as Esther, in the light of the desperate situation her people are in simply invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Up to half the kingdom is offered and she says in effect ‘come and have a party’!
Haman is summoned and the feast was held and as the wine flowed at the end of the meal, the king again asks Esther what he can give up to half of his kingdom and to our surprise she simply invited the king and Haman to another banquet on the next day but adds that she will respond to his offer then so the tension is maintained
This was surely wisdom beyond human wisdom for as we shall see it allows Haman to condemn himself and be humiliated removing the threat in a way that would have been hard to imagine.
Firstly Haman goes out puffed up and full of joy at being signalled out for such special treatment but
Secondly his hatred for Mordecai overflowed as he passed him at the king’s gate and with his family resolved to have Mordecai hanged before the next day’s banquet so that he would be able to enjoy it to the full.
When God says to Solomon at the start of his reign ‘Ask what I shall give you’ 1 Kings 3.5 he asks for wisdom and the wisdom he received is exemplified in the account of the two prostitutes fighting over a child (vs.16-28). And all Israel heard of the judgement that the king had rendered and they stood in awe of the king. Because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.
As previously noted, God is not mentioned in the book of Esther but surely as with Solomon we can see and say that ‘the wisdom of God was in her to do justice.’
God will not forsake his people and uses ordinary people, endowed with his wisdom to bring about his purposes.
Believe it and take heart!