Esther painted by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.
After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king's servants who attended him said, "Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in the citadel of Susa under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; let their cosmetic treatments be given them. And let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This pleased the king, and he did so.
Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen maids from the king's palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best place in the harem. Esther did not reveal her people or kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to tell. Every day Mordecai would walk around in front of the court of the harem, to learn how Esther was and how she fared.
The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked for to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
When the turn came for Esther, daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers - "Esther's Esther's feast". He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.
What has the Book of Esther to do with anything today? A long ago story with old tombs of the people in this Bible Passage.
Esther was adopted. Her family was gone. She was in the highest place of honor. She could easily have looked good and had a pretty life. Sitting pretty would be a very accurate term for the Queen of the present day spelling of Xerxes.
In the midst of change, uncertainty, life expectancy, life, death, power, plots, vast wealth, lavish large life - Esther did not have the dreams given to Daniel or God's umpha blessing causing those around him to help him. Daniel's era had God's Handwriting Literally on the wall. Daniel had a lot of Supernatural God encouragement.
Esther had to trust God and say - "I'm going to trust God - as I do the right thing, I can have life and not walk around complaining and worrying and fainting and being without courage."
How many people would have decided to fight for their adopted Uncle and put their neck out? We see a few did in World War II. Really the story of Esther is one of personal courage and a willingness to do the right thing. And not walking around like a feinting Lily.
Esther did not go shrieking around that Jews didn't join Harems. I really doubt she was thrilled. Esther was placed in a very unusual situation for someone growing up as an ex-patriot Jew. She was unusually brave and uncomplaining.
The Book of Esther is about Trust and Believe God.
However your adult life has led down a path of unusual and different circumstance - God has not lost your address. God didn't give up on a woman thrown in a harem. Esther realized this and knew she would go Home to God at the end of her Life. Esther chose to live a life of meaning she could be proud of at the end of her Life, as she stood in front of God.
There are unusual aspects to Esther.
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
~ Realistic about where she was. Living with in the parameter's of Today.
1 Corinthians 3
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness
~ Seeing the good in the people around her - Hegai the king's eunuch. Mordecai. Ahasuerus.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
How easy it would have been for Esther to have given in to self-pity, fear and not helped.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy
~ Courage. Because she Trusted God. He was her Salvation and She Believed Him.
2 Chronicles 32:8
With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Father God, how grateful I am that You worked with the Disciples who really had a lack of peace a lot during the days they loved and walked with Jesus. You continued to work with men willing to argue in public over circumcision and You gave them the honesty to write that down. Father God, how I admire Esther, Help us all to cast our cares Up to You and Let You resolve our cares in Your way and in Your time. With a brave heart that You would be proud of. Help us all to Trust You. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves†