Monday, January 9, 2012

The Courage of Hadassah

I always wondered how Esther had the courage to approach the king.

Did she simply give herself one amazing pep talk before stepping into the courtyard? How was she able to make her bold requests?

Today we know the young queen as Esther, but God knows her by her Jewish name, Hadassah.

Though Esther changes her name to stay safe, her true identity as a Jew remains. There’s no way Hadassah can fully let go of who she is once inside the palace.

The movie One Night with The King portrays this beautifully. In this version, Esther is brought to the king one night to read from the royal record. As she’s reading, Esther deviates from the written words and tells the king a compelling love story about a young man named Jacob pursuing a woman named Rachel (Genesis 29:1-30:24).

Esther tells the story as if the events happened yesterday and she knows the people personally. She doesn’t. They died centuries before she was even born.

Why does she do this? Because she is descendant of Jacob. Israel’s history is her history. Their God is her God, and He gives her identity. Palace or not.

It’s from this framework that Hadassah enters the courtyard to invite the king to dinner. As event after event unfolds in the book of Esther, she continues to be courageous.

Because of her God. Because of who she is and Whom she belongs to.

More than two years ago, I took a job writing Bible curriculum for children. The first day at the job, I didn’t have much courage. In fact, I was pretty darn scared my worst fears would come true and I would be a failure.

But, as I read Scripture day after day, I found that God acts on behalf of His children. He sees them. He tells them over and over that they belong to Him. He enables them to be courageous (Joshua 1:9).

Through reading the story of God’s people, He showed me the truth about who I am too.

I am His.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the final two lessons I wrote, out of more than a hundred, were on the book of Esther. When I read the name Hadassah in the second chapter, I felt as if I know her personally and that her story is somehow also mine.

Because I know her God.

With head held high and shoulders rolled back, I am ready to step into my next courtyard. Whatever it is.


denisemorris said...

"Because I know her God." Beautiful.

Becca said...

Thanks, Denise!