Don’t you love it when a character finally learns an important lesson and changes for the better? This transformation, in literature, is called the “character arc”—the way in which the main character develops and grows as a result of the story’s conflict.
In chapter 5, we see a very different Esther from the one we first met. Here, she is described as a bold and assertive woman. After her “defining moment” in chapter 4, Esther put off her fasting clothes and donned her royal robes (v. 1). At the same time as she identified with the Jewish people, she also “owned” her identity as Queen. Dressed in regal splendor, Esther walked into the inner court of the palace, putting her life on the line. Traditionally, it was only the king who could issue such an invitation. Providentially, the king saw Esther and held out his scepter to her (v. 2).
Not only that, but the king asked her to share her request, and he addressed her as Queen Esther. This is the first time in the book that she is directly called “Queen Esther”—and it is by the king. She is referred to by name 37 times in the book. Fourteen of those occasions use the royal designation of “Queen,” and all but one of those fourteen happen after Esther 5:1. This was a transformational moment for Esther indeed.
When Queen Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet, the king immediately accepted (v. 5). The passive girl who “was taken” to the king’s palace (2:8) now had the two most powerful men of the kingdom following her direction. She is transformed before our eyes into a woman of dignity and courage. From Esther’s story, we see how God used this difficult life experience to grow her in important ways.
>> Today, reflect on some of the ways God has already transformed you to fulfill your calling. Is He leading you to even greater fruitfulness in your life right now? Jot down a few things you can do to grow in faith and obedience, even today!