Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,…
I. OBSERVE THE QUEEN'S MODESTY — her extraordinary prudence at the very moment that she is most successful. Her request was a simple invitation to have the king come to a banquet of wine the next day, and as a mark of regard for his preferences, she wishes him to bring Haman.
II. In Esther's fasting and prayer and pious courage we see THAT FAITH AND PIETY ARE NOT ALWAYS SHORN OF THEIR FRUITS UNDER UNFAVOURABLE INFLUENCES; they may flourish in a palace. In a chaotic state of society a pious man may have greater difficulties to overcome in maintaining a godly walk, but then, in overcoming these difficulties, he will gain a greater degree of spiritual strength.
III. QUEEN ESTHER WAS A TRUE REPRESENTATIVE WOMAN. Every one is raised up as she was, not to be a Sultana, and do just the work she did, but to do his or her own work. Every one has a duty to perform — a post to maintain — a lot to fulfil.
IV. It may sometimes be our duty to ourselves, our country, our fellow-men and our God to put our LIVES IN JEOPARDY FOR THE TRUTH, OR FOR THE CHURCH, AND FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS. True piety ought to make men brave.
V. WE SHOULD NEVER FEAR TO DO OUR DUTY. The God whom we serve is able either to sustain us under our trials or to deliver us out of them. Why should we yield to the fear of man that bringeth a snare, seeing that we are in the hands of Him who holdeth the hearts of all men and of devils in His hand?
VI. THE PRIVILEGE AND EFFICACY OF PRAYER.
1. As Henry remarks, here is an example of a mistress praying with her maids that is worthy of being followed by all housekeepers and heads of families.
2. And we are here encouraged to ask the sympathy and prayers of others when we undertake any great or perilous enterprise. The king's favourite was her greatest enemy. But if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, even His own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
VII. ONE OF THE GRACIOUS DESIGNS OF AFFLICTION IS TO MAKE US FEEL OUR DEPENDENCE UPON GOD. A gracious result of trials to the people of God is that it drives them to prayer. But the court of heaven is not like that of Persia, into which there was no entrance for those that were in mourning or clothed with sackcloth. Such could not come near the palace of Ahasuerus. But it is the weary, the heavy-laden, and the sorrowing that are especially invited to the throne of grace, and invited to come boldly. "Is any among you afflicted," saith the apostle James, "let him pray."
(W. A. Scott, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,