12 Each virgin had to complete 12 months of beauty care. They used oil of myrrh for six months. And they used perfume and make-up for the other six months. A virgin’s turn to go in to King Xerxes could come only after a full 12 months had passed. 13 And here is how she would go to the king. She would be given anything she wanted from the place where the virgins stayed. She could take it with her to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there. In the morning she would leave. Then she would go to the special place where the king’s concubines stayed. She would be put under the control of Shaashgaz. He was the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would never return to the king unless he was pleased with her. He had to send for her by name before she could go to him again. 15 Mordecai had adopted Esther. She had been the daughter of his uncle Abihail. Her turn came to go in to the king. She only asked for what Hegai suggested. He was the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the place where the virgins stayed. Everyone who saw Esther was pleased with her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal house. It was now the tenth month. That was the month of Tebeth. It was the seventh year of the rule of Xerxes. 17 The king liked Esther more than he liked any of the other women. She pleased him more than any of the other virgins. So he put a royal crown on her head. He made her queen in Vashti’s place. 18 Then the king gave a big dinner. It was in honor of Esther. All of his nobles and officials were invited. He announced a holiday all through the territories he ruled over. He freely gave many gifts in keeping with his royal wealth.
Such a strange passage of scripture to me. The one thing that caused Esther to become Queen was her attractiveness and beauty. She rose to such a position of influence, based upon her beauty. But this is exactly what the King wanted – a beautiful Queen. God had purpose in Esther being so beautiful, such that she would one day become Queen. In the end, what caused Esther to become Queen was being unashamedly and completely herself – beautiful, attractive, graceful. Who knows, Esther may have had great looks, but not been the smartest kid going through school. But in the end, whatever Esther’s mix of strengths and weaknesses, God’s mind and call for her was clear – one day, Esther, I’ll make you Queen. And here we are, reading of this exact moment.
As I think about the implications of these observations, I realise that God loves all of me. He loves the look He’s given me, the characteristics of my personality, my strengths and my weaknesses. Thus, my application is…I need to love and accept being myself. And I need to realise that who I am is exactly who God wants to call, equip and transform for the exciting future He has planned. Esther stepped into the role of Queen because of who she was, not because she made some amazing, surprising, and spell-binding song and dance that surprised the King into choosing her.
Lord, I know I’m a work in progress. But I pray that you would give me the help of your Holy Spirit in continuing to understand what attitudes, beliefs and character traits I can unashamedly celebrate and live as the way you’ve made me to be, and what attitudes, beliefs and character flaws I must allow you to transform in order that one day soon I can unashamedly celebrate and live me in these areas of my life also. Amen
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh