By Hannah Ng’uni
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. Esther 2:17
In chapter 2, we meet Esther, a lovely and beautiful young Jewish woman. An orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai as his own daughter.
Some years after Vashti was dethroned, King Ahasuerus’ servants felt it was time for him to find a queen, a decree went out to all provinces in his kingdom for young beautiful virgins to gather at the palace under a custodian of women Hegai. Esther was taken to the palace and something about her stood out to Hegai, she found favour and received preferential treatment including everything she needed for the 12 months of beauty preparations before meeting the king. When it was her turn to meet the king, Esther she did not request any special jewellery or clothes like the others and kept to what she was advised. The king fell in love immediately and wasted no time in crowing her Queen Esther.
Esther’s humble heart and grace in this chapter that set her apart, it is no wonder she found favour in the sight of all who saw her (vs. 15). She was humble enough to follow Hegai’s instructions during the preparations, 12 months may have sounded like a long time to spend preparing just to meet the king for one night but I believe this was more than just a physical but also a spiritual preparation. Do no negate your time of preparation, there is always a due time (1 Peter 5:6).
Esther was also wise enough to obey Mordecai’s guidance not to reveal she was a Jew just yet for her protection. There was also an element of faith in God and trusting in His timing as the events in her life unfolded, we will explore this further on day 4.
In this chapter, we see that beyond a physical beauty, was an inner beauty of the heart more pleasing to God.
‘Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God’. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with taking care of your outward appearance but what is more precious to God is a gentle and gracious spirit. Let what is admired about you be the condition of your heart, a heart after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
What do you learn from this chapter? Feel free to comment, would love to hear from you.
For this weeks study guide click the link below