This Week's Story

Who will live - the queen with a secret identity or the mighty Persian official?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Rescue in High Places part one

King Ahasuerus admired himself greatly!  His advisers listened as he boasted. “Yes, the military campaign in Greece was unfortunate, but here in this palace you see magnificence.  It exists by and for me.   In my body flows the blood of Darius the Great and Cyrus the Great.

Tonight we feast. You will see the beauty of my new queen, Esther.  She comes at my request.  Order reigns in this kingdom.

In a nearby home, murder was plotted.  Prime Minister Haman raged, “Who is this scum that refuses to bow to me?  By order of the king, all his officials are to bow to me.  Each day as I enter the palace gates, Mordecai is there.  Never does he show me respect.

What am I to do about him? I will destroy him and all his people. They are Jews, not Persians.”

Soon Haman convinced King Ahasuerus, “There is a group of people scattered throughout the Persian Empire, who have their own laws.  They do not obey the king’s laws.  They deserve to die as their allegiance is to Palestine, not to Persia.”

An execution date was set by the king’s decree for March 7, 474 B.C.  Copies were mailed to all provinces.  Children, elderly, men, and women were all to be annihilated.

When Mordecai learned of the decree, he put on sackcloth and rubbed ashes over his body.  He walked throughout the city and finally to the palace gates crying loudly.  Soon other Jews put on sackcloth and ashes.  They fasted and cried, “Oh God, save us!”

Unknown to the king and his palace officials, the new queen had a secret identity.  She was a Jew and had been raised by her cousin  Mordecai.

When Esther heard about Mordecai’s crying, she sent a servant to him.  Mordecai instructed, “Tell Esther, ‘Go to the king and beg for mercy for your people.”

Esther replied, “Nobody can talk to the king, when he is in his inner court, unless invited.  I have not been called for one month.  My only hope is that if I step inside the inner court, he will hold out his scepter towards me.”

Mordecai cautioned, “Do not think that because you are queen, you will escape.  If you keep quiet, help will come another way, but you and your relatives will die.  Perhaps you were chosen to be queen, so that you might help in this time.”

Esther answered, “Gather the Jews in the capital city of Shushan and fast for three days.  My maids and I will do so also.  Then, even though I break the law, I will go to the king.  I am willing to die.”

Three days later in her royal robes Esther entered the inner court.  When the king saw Esther, he held out his gold scepter for her to approach him.  “What do you want, Queen Esther?  I will give it to you, even if it is half of my kingdom.”

Esther spoke, “Your Majesty, would you and Haman come today for a banquet, which I have prepared for you?”

The king and Haman went.  As they drank wine, the king asked, “Esther, what is it that you wish?”

“Your Majesty, if you are pleased with me, tomorrow come with Haman to another banquet I will prepare for you.  Then I will explain.”

As Haman returned home, he passed Mordecai, who again ignored him.  Haman went home, furious. “All honor which the king and queen give me means nothing, if Mordecai can disrespect me.”

His wife and friends suggested, “Tomorrow, before you eat with the king and queen, set up a gallows for Mordecai’s hanging.  Get the king’s permission for the death sentence and then, enjoy your meal.

In the morning Haman went to the king for  official business as prime minister.  To his great horror, his plans were ruined by unexpected events.

Next week we will return to the story of “Rescue in High Places.”  This is Barbara Steiner with a story from the book of Esther in the Bible.

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I was happy that they stood up to what they believed in. from Wyatt

I think it's really messed up that Haman can kill someone and then enjoy his meal.  from Jenny

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for your response.  Haman shows us how greed and power can destroy lives.   Leah

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