Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:
Was it right for Esther to take part in a pagan beauty contest and become part of Xerxes' harem?…
Whether Esther actually volunteered to participate, or whether she was compelled by the King's agents to join with the other contestants, we have no way of knowing. Esther 2:8 simply says, "Esther was taken to the king's palace" (NASB). This could well imply that she had no freedom to refuse. At any rate, there can be no doubt that she was to serve as God's instrument to frustrate the purpose of the vengeful premier, Haman, and to entangle him in a web of guilt as one who plotted the death of Xerxes' new queen. Because of all the special factors, we may say with assurance that in this particular case Esther acted completely within the will of God. She was willing to risk her life for the sake of her people, saying, "If I perish, I perish" (4:16).
Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1982), p. 234.