The story of Esther teaches us that God can lift us up from humble beginnings and accomplish his will through us. The search for the next Queen provided context for God to move and advance his will. How is God working around you or in you to serve his plans?
2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 Many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 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.
15 When the turn came for Esther 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. 16 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.
17 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. 18 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.
Esther 2:2-11, 15-18
We will see later in the book of Esther that God placed Esther in the position of Queen in order to save his people. That’s actually the back story of today’s message. The message today is that God can lift us up from humble beginnings and accomplish his will through us. Today is about Esther’s rise.
We don’t know how many dozen or how many hundred young women were brought to King Xerxes’ harem. We do know, however, that this was the ultimate season of The Bachelor ever… It was common knowledge what happened to Vashti. Everyone knew what the king was doing. It was on. Who would be Babylon’s Next Top Concubine and become Queen?
Esther was beautiful. She had a lovely figure. Didn’t they all? Esther was a beauty among beauties. I imagine that beauty wasn’t enough. What were the women willing to do to become Queen? How competitive was it? This is where we see God’s hand. Esther didn’t compete.
Each woman could ask for whatever beauty supplies or clothes or other trappings to impress the king. Anything they wanted was supplied for their turn with the king. Esther asked for nothing. We don’t see into her motivation or her mindset in the story. In fact, she may have been simply afraid and disinterested in becoming Queen. Perhaps she just wanted to go home…
The king was attracted to her more than any other. Esther won the king’s favour and was made Queen. God’s hand was at work. Just like David being anointed by Samuel to serve as King. Just like Moses being summoned into service at the burning bush. God is always working, even now (John 5:17).
How is God working around you and in you to serve his purposes? You may not appreciate or desire the direction he is taking you. You might be battling against it because you would prefer to pursue your goals and dreams. Watch for his hand. Listen to the Spirit. He has plans which are more grand than anything we can imagine or anticipate…