KING XERXES BANQUET
The Book of Esther happened during the reign of the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medo-Persian Empire defeated the Babylonian Empire (Video of the ruins of the Babylonian Empire) and became the most powerful empire on the face of the earth. Their territory extended from India to the African continent, Ethiopia. Many Jews were scattered during this time because when the Babylonian Empire conquered the land of Israel, many Jews were scattered everywhere. Many of them were sent to Babylon, which is in modern-day Iraq, as slaves. But when the Medo-Persian Empire defeated the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC, God moved the heart of the Medo-Persian, King Cyrus, to allow the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild their temple, the city, and the city walls. The Medo-Persian King during Esther was King Xerxes. He ruled at the height of the Medo-Persian Empire, and its capital was Susa (Pictures of the Palaces), one of the provinces of modern-day Iran. So both Iraq and Iran have a long history, and both became great empires in the past.
For 180 days, King Xerxes threw an amazing banquet for all his leaders. He commanded each guest to drink with no restrictions. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace (Esther 1:1-9). Esther, during this time, was a peasant girl living in Susa, the capital of the Medo-Persian Empire. She was raised by her uncle Mordecai. No one knew exactly what happened to Esther's parents, but they probably died during the invasion of Israel or when Jews were scattered everywhere. The Jews during this time were under the authority of the Medo-Persian Empire, but we will see through the Book of Esther that God was with His people. Psalm 121:4 says, "Behold, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.”
Our God is always with us and watching over His children. No matter what we are going through, God guides and protects us as we trust and walk in His ways.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Do I believe that God watches over me as His child? How should I live my life knowing that God watches over me? What must I do to become God's child?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, empires have come and gone, but you still sit on your throne. You are the God who lives forever and watches over His children. Thank you for watching over me. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.