Summary: Some romance, some violence, a lot of action and has a plot that contains more twists than Downton Abbey. The main characteristics of the story of Esther in one word is REVERSAL...
I don’t like sweets, this is one unfortunate handicap for a pastor. While visiting people, I found myself in a difficult position: somewhere between accepting that sweet treat, a piece of cake or sugary dink and force myself to swallow. Or to refuse and look like a health freek more interested in my well being than in being polite.
But they are some exceptions. For example the Pineapple upside-down cake. The upside-down cake was always one of my favorites. The soft-textured yellowy cake covered with round slices of pineapples swimming in rich caramel syrup with … cherries set in each center - delighted both my eyes & mouth. And I still fascinated by the mystery of it.
Upside-down cakes are one of life's mysteries. That which we normally expect to be on the top ends up on the bottom. And what is typically found on the bottom, rises to the top. I always wondered about that while eating the up-side down cake. This isn't the way it's supposed to be! I thought. But it sure looks good. And tastes great!
In the days of Queen Esther, the Medo-Persian Empire was like an upside-down cake. The enemies of God's people had hoped to over¬power and destroy them. Those enemies were like the batter of the up-side-down cake that submerged and threatened to eradicate the tasty fruit - God's people. But, by the end of the story the "baking" period ended and, like the cake, the empire was turned right side up to the enjoyment of all.
Esther is the story of how evil forces in the Medo-Persian Empire enacted a law to kill the Jews of the empire. READ Esther 3:12, 13.
The story is an amazing spinning of the wheel for all individuals involved in it, and also for the destiny of God chosen people [extrapolate…]..
One of the most exciting stings in all of literature is found in a true story that has been preserved for us in the Bible. It contains some romance and a lot of action and has a plot that contains more twists than a treacherous mountain road. If you’re looking for a good story to read this summer, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the Book of Esther.
One of the most notable characteristics of the story of Esther is "reversal." Reversal comes when an action or a state of af¬fairs intended or expected to produce a certain result ironically leads to the exact opposite outcome. The book explicitly states the principle of reversal: "The tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand"…
Furthermore, every major character in the story of Esther experienced some kind of unexpected reversal of fortune.
- Vashti was Ahasuerus's most beautiful queen, a woman of dignity, power, and moral virtue, but she ended as one of the king's untouchable concubines, never to see his face again (1:19).
- Esther was an insignificant orphan who became the celebrated queen of one of the world's most powerful empires (2:7,17).
- The two leading characters, Haman and Mordecai, also experienced reversal. Haman received the king's prestigious signet ring only to have it taken away (Esther 3:10; 8:2). He conspired to exterminate the Jews and wound up begging a Jew for his life (Esther 3:6; 7:7). After building a gallows to hang Mordecai on, he perished on it him¬self (Esther 5:14; 7:10).
At one point in the story we find Mordecai dressed in sackcloth and covered with ashes (Esther 4:1-3). Later he found himself in glorious royal robes of blue and white (Esther 6:10, 11; 8:15). The story begins with Mordecai sitting at the king's gate as a low-level official (Esther 2:19; 3:2), but ends with Mordecai as Medo-Persia's prime minister (Esther 10:3).
Something's Missing. So the people of God experienced an unexpected reversal of for¬tunes, a surprising turn of events. The cake turned right side up as the life-and-death crisis all worked out far better than anyone might have dared to imagine. But why? How? Where is God in all this?
Surprisingly, nowhere does the book of Esther explicitly say that the cake turned right side up because God intervened in behalf of His people. In fact, it appears that the meaning of the Hebrew words used to describe this unimaginable reversal is that the Jews "themselves" did it. (verse 22).
ILL. One of the most frustrating things in life involves looking for something you know you have but can't, find. One time I was working on a project at my computer at home, books and papers stacked all around me. At one point I was unable to find a thin little book I need it. Although I searched everywhere, I couldn't find it. Round and round my desk I went, looking on the floor, under papers, between stacks of hooks, from shelf to shelf in my library, in drawers, but to no avail. I even searched the living room and the kitchen area thinking I may have carried it there during a break. Still no book. So I reluctantly went back to work without it—frustrated, still wondering, Where in the world is that book? I just had it! A few moments later I picked up the Bible that lay open on the table next to me and, would you believe, there it was right in front of me. It had been there the whole time. Yet I had looked there—or so I thought.