Courageous Women – Queen Esther
Whether you acknowledge the historical events of queen Hadassah (Esther) or choose not to, one thing is for sure— the scriptures give us clear pictures of strong righteous women purposefully serving Yahweh.
What strikes me as incredibly brave of Hadassah, is that she went into the palace of the king knowing full well that death was a probable outcome— look at what the king just did to his ex-wife of how many years.
Today, it’s difficult to truly understand the weight of that. We don’t live in cultures that haul law breakers off to behead them or cut their hands off or anything like that.
Hadassah had a lot to go through. First, she was ripped away from her family, then she was forced to be with a foreign king she didn’t even know, and now she was risking her life for a small chance that she could be an instrument in the saving of her people. She was a stranger in a strange land. And suddenly she was queen.
I think it’s so important to remember these events and ask ourselves “would I be able to do that, and come out alive and swinging?”
This incredible woman was able to. She serves as an example for the rest of us. This woman was fierce. And it was because she trusted in Yah enough to face tremendous fear and overcome.
Yahweh gets his work done, but a lot of times he uses real people to do that work. People who are normal humans like you and me; just people living their lives. There is a ton of trust and strength of character that must be either already present or developed on the part of the person. Trusting in Yah 100% doesn’t always seem like the easiest option.
I’m sure Hadassah was scared, but her trust in Yah contrasts the trust of people like Jonah and Gideon and even Moses. Because instead of doubt or fear, out of her mouth came these words: “…When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16. Mic drop.
Those are words of a courageous woman who trusted her creator; not to save her life, but to take care of her people. She didn’t run away. She didn’t ask for a series of signs. She didn’t didn’t make excuses as to why she couldn’t do it. She was prepared to face death.
These are types of women that Yah chose to record in his scriptures. These are the types of women that women of today, centuries later, can look up to. Women like Hadassah, Jael(think: tent peg), and Miriam. We can remember the courage of Rehab when she hid spies from another country in her own home. I ask my myself “would I do that? Would I hide Israeli spies in my house and stand my ground and act all cool when the FBI came busting into my house looking for the spies; risking becoming an enemy of the state? Could I do that? Standing in the way of the great United States of America?” That takes some guts.
Women like the Proverbs 31 woman, who was a successful, efficient mother and wife and business woman. Women like the unnamed woman who cast a millstone to kill Abimelech. Women like Deborah. Women like Sarah, who left everything she knew to travel the dessert with the man she loved, who endured being taken captive by a foreign government just because she was beautiful.
I have a daughter now and these are the women I want to show her when she asks me about biblical womanhood. These women were women who acted in faith and trust. They didn’t wait around for someone to tell them it was ok to go get the tent peg or throw that millstone. They didn’t wait around for a knight in shining armor, not that there is anything wrong with knights in armor. One of my favorite verses in the scripture is this “The midwives said to Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can get to them.” Exodus 1:19.
We Hebrew women are different. We’re not like other women. We have strength because we rely and trust on the Creator of the universe. We are the daughters who have the ear of their loving Father. We need to remember that and take courage in the stories that Yahweh has left behind for us. These were women just like you (or your sister or mother if you are a man reading this). These women were strong, while also remaining humble. They were faithful and they acted. They did something about the situations that they were in.
Today, we can remember these moments in history and take heart. These stories, they mean something. They are important. They teach us that we have the opportunity to change the world through resourcefulness, strength, trust in Yah, humility, tenderness, childbearing, love, and many other things. But mostly by trusting in Yahweh.