“Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. 13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.
“14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name. 15 Now when the turn came for Esther (the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
“16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so, he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.”
Last week we talked about true beauty, the kind that is more than skin deep. We have all met people that are beautiful at first; their speech seems lovely, they seem to be a joy to be around, and they are even physically attractive. They could be either gender, male or female. But as you get to know them more, you begin to see that beneath the façade is a mean person, a person who is looking for an angle and who uses their charm to take advantage of others. God’s people should not be this way; we should be genuine. Be truly loving and kind, and not for gain; just be that way.
We are about to explore more about Esther. There are so many little details about this young woman that I have overlooked in the past, and as I am going through them now, it is hitting me. As I may have mentioned in previous articles, I am currently reading through the book of Proverbs; the goal was 12 times this year. But I am just about 5 times through it already, and it is changing the way that I see people. It has certainly helped me to see some things about Esther that, even though I knew, they did not weigh in my assessment of the story.
- She was obedient, submissive to authority, verse 10
Esther was a Jew. But she had been born and raised in Babylon and most likely looked and spoke like she was from Babylon. Her uncle Mordecai told her not to reveal her heritage, and she obeyed. That simple; she obeyed. The Jews were hated by pagan cultures. Satan has done a good job of trying to eradicate the people that would bring our Savior. He continues his mission in our time, as the Jews are still the most hated people in the world. The Muslims hate Jesus because He is not Ishmael, and they cannot ever have the Temple Mount as long as there are Jews in the world. And the Globalists like Biden and Clinton hate the Jews because – if Jesus is real and they know He is – He will one day rule the world, and they will have to submit to Him.
But, back to Esther, she was told by her uncle Mordecai not to reveal her heritage, and she did not; that simple.
Wow! What if we were all like this as teenagers? What if we just did what we were told? In North America the teenage years are seen as the right of rebellion; the excuse ‘well, they are just teenagers’ is often used. I use it with my kids. But the Bible has a very different view of rebellion. In 1 Samuel 15:23, we are told that rebellion as far as God is concerned is the same as witchcraft, a sin punishable by death. We should think carefully about that when we look the other way at rebellion in our kids and, to some degree, encourage it. But you can’t fix rebellion at 14; you must begin at day 1 to teach submission and obedience. This will carry kids further than anything else you teach them in life, except that they need to be saved.
Esther was equipped and ready to stand and be submissive to authority as a teenager. And as such, she was equipped to change the world and be the heroine of her people, but the foundation as submission. As such, she was equipped to be queen, unlike Vashti, who forgets her place, Esther was equipped to remember her place, and this put her in place for success. Too many of us forget our place in life, and we constantly seek something that God did not have for us. We want to push boundaries and break barriers, but many forget that God put these barriers in place for a reason.
- She understood, she did not know everything, verse 15
Esther listened to Hegai’s advice. This man served the king personally, and he knew the king. As such, it was wise for Esther to listen to him and take his advice. In the world of Google, it is not hard for the average teenager to think that they know more about life than their parents. Just because you know the answer to the questions does not mean that you know how to apply the solution. This takes skill. I can Google what is wrong with my fridge and even order the part, but I need an expert to show me how to install it right.
Esther understood that the adults in her life knew more than she did, and she sought their counsel. This is an essential lesson to learn in life; even as adults, we need to seek the wise, godly advice of others. Proverbs 12:1 says that “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge.” Esther loved instruction; she was set up for success by her uncle Mordecai. She wanted to know. Why learn the hard way when there have been others who have traveled that path before and know the pitfalls?
In contrast, it would seem the other young ladies, relying on their charm and physical beauty, went in unprepared to meet the king’s needs. This was obviously more than sexual. In any relationship, the emotional highs and ‘googly’ eyes eventually calm down, and the real work begins. Once you get back to work and life from the honeymoon, the frequency of sex will drop down, and things like fatigue and kids can get in the way. The role of the king was a draining one; he was always on call; he had the weight of millions on his shoulders, and wars were normal in that day. He needed more than a pretty face; he needed an Esther. God sent him an Esther, and his life was never the same again.
Do you and I make this kind of difference in the lives of people? Are we the solutions that they are looking for? Do we know how to ask for advice from other godly men and women? Do we seek God’s advice in the Word? Do we want to know more, or are we happy in our ignorance?
Sadly, many Christians are happy in their ignorance; they have a cursory knowledge of the Scriptures and don’t want to go any further. The Bible offers godly wisdom and instruction for any and all endeavors of life, from marriage to parenting to being a good friend, how to run an honest business, and how to behave before royalty and those in power. It tells us how to be kids, how to be adults, and how to be grandparents. The Bible tells us who made us and to whom we will answer once this life is over. Unlike Esther, most of us simply don’t want to know. Knowledge takes work, wisdom takes discipline, and success is more about endurance than talent most of the time. Learn to want to know more, learn to ask Godly men and women that know God’s way of life, and follow the advice.
- She became the Queen, verse 16-18
Esther won the king’s heart. This is very important; it was not often that marital relationships like these were based on love. Most were marriages of convenience for political power or for peace. Esther offered neither, but the king loved her and made her queen. As we discussed before, Esther’s physical beauty was eclipsed only by the fact that she was lovely. She was submissive, and she was not full of herself; these were the qualities the king was looking for, and he did not find it in any of the women he had been with before Esther.
From the time that Esther arrived at the palace to the time she became the queen was more than a year. She had been observed by the people around the king, she had been pampered beyond all that a poor Jewish girl could ever expect, and now she was the queen. God was preparing her to make a big difference in the lives of the Jewish people. But there are steps to being where God wants you to be to make a big difference.
We, like Esther, need to learn to be submissive and obedient to those in authority; we need to be willing to seek the knowledge and wisdom of the godly people in our lives and the Word of God. Most of us want to make an ‘impact’ in other people’s lives, and as a child of God, we should be light in this dark world. But we have to live in the complete opposite of the world. Too many of our Christian young people are trying to make an impact for God by living as the world system. But God’s way is the only way He blesses; God is not interested in your ideas; He is looking for your obedience and submission to Him and His ways. Submission is almost a swear word in our modern vocabulary, but it is a very important word if we are to be useful to the Lord.
Are you wanting to make a difference? Then learn to submit, seek Godly wisdom, and obey. See 1 Samuel 15:22-23,
“So Samuel said: ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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