We can tell if a person is wise by their actions and their words. As Esther finally makes her request, there are at least three things we can learn from the way she approaches the king.
First, she is respectful. She introduces her request with, ″If I have found favour with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you″ (Esther 7:3). If we compare Haman’s speech to the king in the previous chapter, we’ll notice that Haman uses none of these phrases indicating submission.
Second, her speech is discerning. She echoes the king’s offer: ″my life . . . my petition . . . my people . . . my request″ (Esther 7:3). She makes clear reference to Haman’s edict by using the same words: ″destroyed, killed and annihilated″ (v. 4; see 3:13). She identifies with her people, so that to threaten one is to threaten the other (v. 4).
Third, she is deferential, suggesting that only extreme circumstances have forced her to raise this issue with the king (Esther 7:4). She does not point out who the perpetrator is until the king asks (v. 5). Even then, it is only after she has described him as ″an adversary and enemy″ that she reveals it is ″this vile Haman″ (v. 6). The way Esther approaches the king shows her wisdom about how to best present a request.
In a sense, the timing for her speech also shows her wisdom. She couldn’t make her request when she first approached the king (Esther 5:3-4), because Haman wasn’t there. He had to be present because otherwise he might have been able to wiggle out of the accusation. Then somehow she sensed that the timing wasn’t right to answer the king at the banquet (5:5-8).
But now she has made her request She has pointed her finger at Haman. The explosion has gone off. The king leaves in a rage. And Haman is left with Esther to beg for his life (Esther 7:7).
Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-6. How does Esther measure up to this description of how a wise person acts in the court of a king?
Jesus says we will need to give an account for every careless word we have spoken (Matthew 12:36-37). Reflect on how your words have the power to affect others (see Proverbs 18:21)?