Esther 5:8 (ESV)

8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

Esther’s request once again surprises the reader. Did fear cause her to delay her request? It is more likely that Esther was again acting strategically and in accordance with Persian customs. Her response was sure to have at least three effects:

  1. It was sure to impress the king. Here was an opportunity to ask anything from him! Yet Esther calmly let the opportunity pass, thereby showing great dignity and self-control.

  2. It was sure to flatter Haman. For a second time, Esther showed that she wished him to be present when she made her important request.

  3. It was sure to strengthen her position. At the second banquet, the king would have to ask her for the third time what it was that she wanted. For the third time, he would promise to give whatever she asked for.

However strategic this delay might have been on the part of Esther, God’s plans were still greater. That very night, he would cause the king to remember Mordecai’s faithful service to the throne. This would strengthen Esther’s position more than anything else.