Esther 7:3 Then Queen Esther answered, "If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life--this is my petition. And spare my people--this is my request.
The book of Esther is a marvelous story of the influence of one beautiful Jewish young woman put in a difficult place. She was first taken to the foreign king's palace to be among those from whom King Xerxes would choose a new queen. She gave herself to the task, being noticed by the king's eunuch who was in charge of the women and who was to prepare them for an audience with the king. She gave herself fully to all the preparations made available to her. Chapter 2 tells us of her rise to become queen. When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Meanwhile, an enemy of the Jews had risen in the kingdom and set about to destroy them. Long story short, Esther rose to the occasion to use her favor with the king to intercede for her people. Her people were allowed to rise up and squelch their enemies.
We readily see Esther's prominent role in the story. However, I would suggest that there is one other in this story who is even more essential, Mordecai. Mordecai, her relative, had adopted Esther (her Hebrew name was Hadassah) when her mother and father died. He raised her as his own. Mordecai positioned himself at the king's gate and continued to look after Esther. It is Mordecai who overheard a plot to assassinate the king which was then thwarted. It was Mordecai who learned of Haman's plot to kill the Jews. It was Mordecai who persuaded Esther to rise to the occasion and become the intercessor for her people, saying to her, " . . . And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" It was Mordecai instructed the Jews throughout Susa to fast for Esther and her intercession. It was Mordecai who was raised to a position of advisor in this process. Indeed, the 10th chapter of Esther sums up his contribution. King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores. And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king had raised him, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.
Esther was more than a beautiful face. She was a person of godly influence. Mordecai was more than a meddling parent. He was a person of godly influence. Where is your sphere of influence? Yes, you do have one, whether great or small. It may be more than you think. And it can always change, given changing circumstances. How will you respond?