Sunday, June 29, 2008

Esther - And the winner is...

Esther 2:10-18 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her. Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name. When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. And the king gave a great banquet, Esther's banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.

When my youngest first started going to the nursery at church, I would drop her off - screaming of course - while the nursery worker assured me she would be fine. I would walk awa
y from the door, about five steps, and wait to see if the crying subsided. When it did, I would sneak back and peak in the door to see if she was playing - and she would be. Then, when other parents would come to drop their kid off, I would ask them "could you tell me if the girl with the big pink bow in her hair is playing?" After they dropped off their baby they would assure me that she was having a good time. As we can see from Mordecai, this type of parental behavior never stops. We are forever watching over and caring for what God has entrusted to us.


As was mentioned previously, there are a lot of girls in line for the queens' old slot. According to the scriptures, all these girls underwent TWO years of beauty treatments - TWO years! One might think that after two years of doing nothing but
preparing to be beautiful - that the competition might be a bit fierce. Even someone that came in with their hair all disheveled and their make-up smeared on - would certainly learn how to fix that in the course of two years. Even though I don't believe there was any botox at this time, surely they had similar treatments to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. I truly believe that all these girls, by the time they went to see the king, were knockouts. But Esther was smart as well as beautiful, she did as she was told by those in charge and won over everyone's heart. What can we get out of these verses? It's true what I keep telling my kids "It doesn't matter how pretty you are on the outside, if you're not pretty on the inside - they won't see Jesus in you!"

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