Daily Devotionals

Queen of Hearts Week 1: Thursday

"So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the square in front of the palace gate. Mordecai told him the whole story, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews." Esther 4:6-7

When was a time you stepped out of your comfort zone? When I was in college, I went on a mission trip out of the country to Romania, where I had never been before and knew no one. I stepped out of my comfort zone when I said goodbye to my family and left for Romania. I left Romania nervous and fearful. But I came home stronger and more aware of people's needs around me. I realized how many people need the hope of Jesus worldwide and started seeing their needs rather than living in my own world. Stepping out of our comfort zones has that impact. It wakes us up and helps us see the world around us in a way we did not before. 

Esther's world was turned upside down when Mordecai called her to step out of her life of comfort to see the persecution and hardship that her fellow Jews were facing in Esther chapter 4. During this time, Haman, the king's chief official, had planned to have all of the Jewish people in Persia killed because their faith in God required that they not bow down to him or any other person or thing besides God. It is essential to know that Esther had not told the king or anyone in the palace that she was Jewish. Her identity was a secret. While this persecution and threat against the Jews was happening, she was living in the palace, completely unaware of the hardships the rest of her fellow Jews were facing. Eventually, Esther's cousin Mordecai informed her about what was happening through her attendant. Mordecai called her to look beyond her comfortable position as queen in the palace and see her Jewish people's hardships. Only then could she take steps to help.

Friends, like Esther, we all, at times, must look beyond ourselves and our comfortable positions to see the needs around us. When we step out of our comfort zones, we can see the people hurting around us and put ourselves in a position to help. So, how can you look beyond yourself and your comfortable position to see the needs of those hurting around us? 

Moving toward action

Think about your life. What is an area where you could step out of your comfort zone? Maybe you can sign up to serve at church. Maybe you can sign up to join one of our small groups. Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone by inviting a friend to church with you. Identify that step and make a plan to move toward that step today.

Going Deeper

Esther 3:6-4:7 (NLT)

"He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.

7 So in the month of April, during the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ reign, lots were cast in Haman’s presence (the lots were called purim) to determine the best day and month to take action. And the day selected was March 7, nearly a year later.

8 Then Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live. 9 If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will give 10,000 large sacks of silver to the government administrators to be deposited in the royal treasury.”

10 The king agreed, confirming his decision by removing his signet ring from his finger and giving it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 The king said, “The money and the people are both yours to do with as you see fit.”

12 So on April 17 the king’s secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Haman dictated. It was sent to the king’s highest officers, the governors of the respective provinces, and the nobles of each province in their own scripts and languages. The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen on March 7 of the next year. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them.

14 A copy of this decree was to be issued as law in every province and proclaimed to all peoples, so that they would be ready to do their duty on the appointed day. 15 At the king’s command, the decree went out by swift messengers, and it was also proclaimed in the fortress of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa fell into confusion.

4 When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail. 2 He went as far as the gate of the palace, for no one was allowed to enter the palace gate while wearing clothes of mourning. 3 And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.

4 When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the burlap, but he refused it. 5 Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning. 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the square in front of the palace gate.

7 Mordecai told him the whole story, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews."