Today's interview installment comes from my friend, Antoinette- who is a lecturer by profession but, most importantly, a woman of great faith. Read on as Antoinette shares the parallels between Esther (her favourite Biblical woman's) fight for justice and her own, in addition to what we- as modern Christian women- can learn from Esther.
Who is your favourite woman of the Bible and why? What would you say that modern women can learn from her?
Esther for quite a few reasons:
- Esther's Jewish name means 'myrtle', a tree whose leaves only release their fragrance when crushed. Similarly, my faith, heroism and victory seem to appear most when I am in danger.
- 'Esther' also means 'hidden': My challenges often relate to my adversaries trying to hide my identity, whether as a Christian or worthy employee etc.
- My testimony as a professional/employee: especially, in light of the spiritual and natural challenges I face in my employment– employment the Lord Jesus Christ prepared me for through years of training. This too reminds me of the time Esther spent preparing to become Queen (Esther 2).
- I also identify with the Book of Esther in relation to the faith that I have needed to follow the guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ in the workplace, often in opposition to the guidance of the senior staff and colleagues. This relates to the faith I have to exercise to let God be my ruler.
- Ahasuerus (Esther's husband) was governed by whim rather than by wisdom, becoming the tool of anyone shrewd enough to exploit him. This I see in my relationships with my manager, becoming the tool of colleagues who would want to see me gone – by any means.
- It was Esther’s petition and intercession that brought about change, even though the edict had gone out and could not be reversed by the king (Esther 4:15-17; Esther 5; Esther 7). In the same way issues in my place of work require prayer and intercession.
Modern women can learn from Esther not to give too much power to any one person; in the long run God alone should rule us.
Related: An Interview with Fiona on Rizpah
Please finish the sentence: I am a Christian woman who is…
I am a Christian woman who is endeavouring to live right, even in exile. When I encounter bigotry and prejudice, I still try to act with courage, wisdom and integrity.
Please finish the sentence: I am a Christian woman who is not…
I am a Christian woman who is not willing to give absolute power to a human being, in particular people who are governed by emotions. This is something else that I learned from Esther as Esther’s role speaks of political decisions, and the danger of giving absolute power to someone who might turn out to be a fool, or threatened by (the Christ in) me.
Any final words of encouragement?
Esther turned the tables on Mordecai. She pleaded with the king and Haman was horribly punished. He was hanged/hoisted by the very petard he had built for Mordecai (Esther 7). Selah!