The book of Esther is one of the two books in the Bible where God’s name is not mentioned. As such, there are those who believe the book is an anecdote rather than a true story. Whatever you believe, you can glean many moral lessons from the book of Esther.
What Are Moral Lessons?
When we say someone is moral or has morals, we usually mean they’re concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and act accordingly. A moral lesson is anything that teaches you how to be a better person. I’d like to share with you five of the moral lessons found in the book of Esther.
Moral Lessons from the Book of Esther # 1: How to Be a Good Leader
There are a number of leadership models in the book of Esther. Let’s look at three of the Esther leadership qualities found in this book:
King Ahasuerus seemed to have been an impulsive leader—one who did what he pleased regardless of the consequences. Several times we see the words “if it pleases the king” and “it pleased the king”. King Ahasuerus was quite content to have the Jews wiped out because his favorite prince requested it. He didn’t display any compassion or concern for the people who’d lose their lives as a result.
Haman taught me the dangers of being too caught up in self to notice the little man. After Haman’s promotion, King Ahasuerus ordered everyone to bow before him. Haman didn’t notice that Mordecai didn’t bow before him until someone told him. And then, he was so mad about the slight, he decided to destroy Mordecai and all his people. This type of leader is dangerous as they make decisions based on personal feelings and not what’s best for the people they serve.
Mordecai leadership style seemed to have been one of empowerment. The Bible had this to say about him:
For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen (Esther 10:3 NKJV).
When Mordecai became second-in-command to the king, he wanted what was best for his people and sought to encourage peace among them. This type of leadership fosters teamwork and corporation.
Moral Lessons from the Book of Esther # 2: How to Have a Positive Attitude
As we go through life, sometimes bad things will happen. People hurt us, leave or die. Circumstances don’t work out as we hoped—or planned—they would. Our positive attitude is the key to handling difficult situations. Esther had really hard things happen in her life but she maintained a positive attitude.
When we read the book of Esther, we tend to focus on the fairy-tale aspect of the captive girl being elevated to the status of queen. We sometimes forget this young, woman had been taken from her home and family and placed in a harem against her will. No one asked Esther if she wanted to become a queen.
And she experienced other difficult things:
- Her people were captured (granted this happened before her birth, but she would have grown up knowing she was not free.)
- She lost both parents. Esther 2:7 tells us the young girl was an orphan and had been adopted by her cousin Mordecai.
- She was taken from Mordecai’s home and, for a period of time, was cut off from him. Living in the harem meant she would not have any contact with him as the only persons allowed to associate with the king’s harem were the eunuchs whom he had selected.
- Her people were threatened with genocide.
While the Bible doesn’t go into detail about how she handled the challenges in her life, we get the impression that Esther was someone who put her best self forward. That’s why she was able to please Hegai, the keeper of the harem, and the king.
If Esther had been concerned about having her own way, she would have been lamenting her losses, unconcerned about anyone else and not caring if she pleased them.
Moral Lessons from the Book of Esther # 3: The Importance of Good Advisors
The most notable example of bad advice for me was Haman’s wife and friends. After explaining how upset he was because Mordecai refused to bow, their advice was to erect a gallows and seek the king’s permission to have him hung on them (Esther 5:9-14).
Poor advice can cause us to to treat others carelessly. In this case, the advice was to have a man killed before going on to enjoy a banquet with the royal couple. Proverbs 11:14 says:
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV).
This was played out several times in the book of Esther, and especially in Haman’s life.
Moral Lessons from the Book of Esther # 4: The Dangers of Anger
There were two angry men in the book of Esther: Haman and King Ahasuerus. Haman’s anger blazed until the only thing that could have quenched it was the destruction of an entire nationality. King Ahasuerus’ anger resulted in the deposition of Vashti, the queen.
Both of these men teach the importance of learning to control your anger.
Moral Lessons from the Book of Esther # 5: The Right Way to Fight
Conflict resolution is a prevalent feature of the book of Esther. When Haman had a problem, his first response was to destroy the person he believed had wronged him. But that wasn’t enough for him. He also wanted to wipe out everyone who had even the slightest connection to his enemy.
Esther, on the other hand, fasted. She didn’t directly confront Haman when she learned he had orchestrated the mass genocide of her people. She chose instead to spend three days in fasting. The Bible doesn’t say it, but I like to think that during her fast Esther spent time in prayer. She also spent time to make a plan.
She didn’t go to the king and demand the execution of Haman. Instead, she took her time and did what she could to present her case in the best light:
“If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss” (Esther 7:3-4 NKJV).
Esther teaches us the right way to fight: not in anger or dependent on our own strength, this is one of the many characteristics of Esther found in the Bible. Being Christians, we should take the time to liaise with our Heavenly Father for advice and counsel.
Characteristics of Esther In the Bible
There are many more moral lessons in the book of Esther, some of which will be discussed in my new Bible study, Royal: Life Lessons from the Book of Esther is written for teenage girls. This Esther Bible study book is perfect for personal or group study. It is an in-depth exploration of the lessons and morals in the book of Esther and covers topics such as the importance of respect, how to be a good friend, and tips for having a relationship with God.
Book of Esther Summary
What does it take to be queen?
Centuries ago, a young, Jewish girl unexpectedly became the queen of a vast empire. She was instrumental in saving her people from genocide.
Do you want to learn how to use your fear for good? Or, how to turn those things you consider weaknesses into opportunities God can use?
This Bible study for young women guides you step-by-step through the book of Esther and unlocks its lessons so you can use them in your everyday life. Royal: Life Lessons from the Book of Esther will be published on September 5, 2019, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon for $0.99, available for $2.99 thereafter.
I hope you found some practical encouragement in this post on 5 Biblical lessons from the book of Esther. I would love to hear from you, what’s your favorite takeaway from the book of Esther?
More Articles Like This You May Like