Starting a new year is reminiscent of a new beginning, which can only happen if the past is understood and changes can be made to the present. Finding ways to cope and improve your life takes wisdom, courage, and strength. This week’s topic includes a review of three Bible figures who made the changes needed to help others and maintain or gain their faith.
A court proposal of the Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) is the beginning of the story of a Jewish woman named Hadassah and her cousin, Mordecai. “Let them search for beautiful young virgins for the king.” (Esther 2: 2) When she arrived in court, Mordecai advised her to change her name to Esther and not reveal her nationality or family. He was a calm person with a beautiful face and an attractive body. The king chooses her to be his wife. Mordecai later refused to kneel down and honor Haman, the king’s vizier (high official). Haman’s anger led to a vengeful plot in Esther 3: 8-9. “Then Haman said to King Xerxes, ‘There are a certain people among the people of your kingdom who are separating. Their customs are different, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, a decree be issued to destroy them. ‘ The king agreed to kill the Jews. A woman was unable to stop Haman’s plot. Timid Esther faced the challenges of his world by turning to his God for the courage and strength to face her husband and beg for the life of his Jewish people. Esther said, “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish. (Esther 4:16) She strengthened her character, saved her people, and ended Haman’s cruelty. With God’s direction, the faithful are strong.