Her Persian name was Esther. (It may have meant “star”; her Jewish name, Hadassah, meant “myrtle.”) She was the orphaned daughter of Abihail and an unnamed mother. She was adopted by her cousin Mordecai of the tribe of Benjamin.
She lived in the royal palace at Shushan (Susa), the capital of Persia and became a part of the royal harem. She eventually married Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), the king of Persia (486-465 BC).
Esther is the classic story of a person being at the right place at the right time to do the right thing.
“Providence” stems from a Middle English, Anglo-French word derived from Latin which means “to make provision,” in other words, “to take care of something or to provide.” Divine providence is when God uses people, events, and circumstances to accomplish His will.
During the waning years of their exile, the Jews faced a very real threat of extermination. Through a set of seemingly ordinary circumstances, a beautiful young Jewish woman had become a member of the king’s harem. As the plot to annihilate her people was about to be initiated, she risked her life by appearing before the king uninvited in order to plead for her people. The king heard her appeal, the plot was thwarted, and the plotters were executed.
Was Esther’s position just a fortunate circumstance, or was it the work of Divine providence to place her in such a position “for such a time as this”?