Well, its been an interesting weekend with out internet refusing to work properly, so its a miracle really that this is written at all!! But welcome to week 4 of our Esther series. We are now a quarter of our way through the story, and I think we’ve learnt a lot about Esther already. This is a young women who hasn’t had an easy start to life – she’s lost her parents, been adopted, forced to keep a rather large secret and live in a harem with 400 other women. But despite all of these challenges, she seems to be able to keep making a good impression and make friends where it counts.
This week we were meditating on the following verse:
“When the turn came from Esther (the young woman 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 favour of everyone who saw her.” Esther 2:15
There are four things that I want to highlight that have come through in our discussions and in my own meditations on this verse:
Lets take a moment to think about the magnitude of this moment for Esther. As a young girl in this culture, getting married would have been a big landmark in her life, signifying her separation from her old family and joining to start a new one. Throw into the mix that this is with the King of the country she was currently living with, that she was in competition with 400 of the most beautiful women around, and that if she got it wrong she would be tossed aside like nothing, and you’ve got yourself a high stakes situation. Nervous, anticipation, fear, stress? Those would be the things that I would be feeling in that situation. My own wedding night was stressful enough, and I was with someone I loved, trusted and knew! So I can’t even begin to imagine how this would have felt for Esther. As she walked down that corridor towards the King I am sure there were butterflies in her tummy, but perhaps there was also a air of certainty or confidence, as we know that she had taken Hegai’s advice……
Esther wasn’t unprepared. In contrast to the other women who were trying to think up all the amazing things they could take with them to woo the King, Esther took a different approach. Instead, she befriended Hegai, the eunuch, and asked for his advice. Esther recognised that she was young, naïve and didn’t know the King at all, and so went to someone who could help. Hegai was older, wiser, knew more about the King than she did, but we also think he may have been of Jewish heritage, so possibly shared the same values as her. He had the inside knowledge, and was able to wisely recommend to Esther how to proceed. This must have been a great comfort to her, and Esther was wise enough to listen to someone greater than her.
She hasn’t even reached the King’s chamber yet (that happens next week!) but it mentions again that she is winning favour with everyone she meets. I can’t help but see the hand of God in this, as she walks around the palace and has a different demeanour and attitude to the other women because of her relationship with God. Perhaps she wasn’t trying so hard to catch attention or be flirtatious. Perhaps she was more confident in herself as women. We don’t know, but we know that she was making all the right steps.
I don’t know about you, but for me this passage threw up way more questions to me than it answered. I long to know what Esther took in with her, what the others took in, how were they being prepared in the harem? So many things unanswered. What questions do you have from this week?
The application that has been jumping out at me all week from this verse is this: WHO AM I TAKING ADVICE FROM????
Is it from the internet, is it from a person who hasn’t earnt that position in my life, is it from someone less wise than me? Check who it is that you are listening to and taking advice from and follow Esther’s example – someone wiser/more experienced in that area, someone who has inside knowledge, someone who shares the same values as you. If you are taking advice from someone who doesn’t tick these boxes, then that advice is useless. There are so many pressures and stresses in this world that we need to make sure we are getting help from the right places.
It’s a landmark week for Esther next week as we move on to looking at this verse together:
“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favour 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.” Esther 2:17
There is a new FREE PHONE LOCK SCREEN design coming out to you all on Monday over in the Facebook community, along with the opportunity to join me at 8pm tomorrow night to kick off the week’s discussions and thoughts. Do join me there and share your comments on this weeks verse below or in the Facebook group.