Shannon here: Author Linda Fulkerson shares a glimpse into the real-life romance between King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther in her new Bible study book, Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Purpose: Life Lessons from the Book of Esther. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: July 1st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
Romance. Suspense. Conspiracy. Scandal. The Book of Esther contains many elements of great fiction, which is why it is such a fascinating story. The difference between the story of Esther and that of a great novel is the narrative of Esther’s life is true.
The story begins with King Ahasuerus, also referred to as Xerxes I, who was the most powerful man on the planet during his lifetime. His is portrayed in both the Bible and historical documents as being arrogant and as one who made rash decisions. One of those decisions was to ostracize his wife, Vashti.
Shortly after the king banished Vashti, a beautiful young Jewess stole his heart. We learn in the biblical text that this young woman, Esther, was not only lovely on the outside, she was kind-hearted and humble-spirited. Esther was also courageous. That combination likely intrigued the mighty king, and when the time came to select a new queen from all the beautiful virgins in his vast empire, he chose Esther.
Later in Esther’s story, an enemy of the Jews convinced King Ahasuerus to allow the annihilation of the entire race. Esther then had to make a decision: approach the king without being summoned, which was against the law; or witness the slaughter of her people. When her cousin Mordecai suggested she may have been placed in her position “for such a time as this,” she chose to risk her life and address the king.
Chapter 5 gives us another glimpse of the king’s feelings for Esther. “And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom” (Esther 5:2-3 KJV).
As the book progresses, we see the love between Esther and her husband deepen. Even though the enemy of Esther’s people had been a long-time friend of the king, as soon as Ahasuerus discovered Haman’s plot, he did his best to protect his wife. And, in Chapter 8, Esther fell down at the king’s feet and wept for her people. Once again, the king treated his wife with tenderness and compassion, and extended the golden sceptre of mercy toward her.
This biblical book reads like a fairy tale, but Esther’s story is true. And, between “once upon a time” and “they lived happily ever after,” we can learn dozens of lessons by studying her life.
From orphan girl to beauty contest winner to queen of the most powerful nation on Earth, Esther had the humble beginnings of an ordinary girl, yet she allowed God to use her for His extraordinary purpose.
My new release, Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Purpose, shares life lessons from the Book of Esther. Not only will this book give you great insights into the life of Esther, it is designed to help you discover your extraordinary purpose, too.
The book’s introduction gives detailed information about the customs of the Medo-Persian Empire, plus, there’s a study guide at the back of the book, which is suitable for use with personal devotion time or in a group Bible study or class setting.
Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Purpose is available in both Kindle and in print at Amazon.com. You can download the study guide and/or a free chapter of Linda’s new book by visiting http://lifelessonsfromthebookofesther.com.
About Linda: Linda Fulkerson has nearly two decades of experience in small business management and marketing. She is the former director of digital services for the largest media group in central Texas and served five years as division training manager during her 9-year stint in the United States Marine Corps.
Linda’s writing career began as a freelance magazine features writer. She later moved into the exciting realm newspapers and has held the positions of copy-editor, sports writer, online editor, and online advertising coordinator.
In 2013, Linda left her day-job and launched DLF Digital Services LLC. Her company provides a variety of services, including a book marketing graphics segment that creates cover designs and video book trailers. She is a sought-after marketing consultant for authors, speakers, and small business owners, and specializes in website development and coaching for authors. She also presents workshops for writers’ groups and hosts the free Ideas to Books Podcast.
Linda is the author of several nonfiction books, including a series of coloring books for writers, and DEAD BROKE, a mystery novel published in 2016.
To learn more about Linda Fulkerson, visit her website www.LindaFulkerson.com.
Question for Readers: What life lessons have you learned from reading the Book of Esther?