This month has been a purpose-filled journey!
While fasting and spending time in prayer, I traveled through a portion of the life experiences of the Jews as many of them are captives in the Persian Empire. Along with the study book Pathways—Lessons from Esther, From Providence to Purpose by Tony Evans, I gained a greater joy and contentment as I observed what God can do behind the scenes.
Devoting a large amount of time in the Book of Esther, I gained insight which drives me to share.
If you are not familiar with the story of Esther, you will want to examine the ten chapters that sit between the books of Nehemiah and Job in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Let me set the stage~ After Queen Vashti embarrassed the King (Ahasuerus), beautiful young virgins were gathered to Susa the capital city of the Medo-Persian Empire into the harem in hopes of finding a replacement for Queen Vashti.
And so it was Esther was taken!
As I ponder how Esther may have felt, I question: 1) did she have dreams of marrying a handsome young man and starting a family like most young girls? 2) was she already being pursued by a young Jewish suitor? 3) how did she feel about her own plans not ever materializing? 4) what fears did she encounter?
We are not given answers to these questions, but we can see what sort of attitude she displayed.
We are told that Esther was taken into the king’s palace and placed in the custody of Hegai, who oversaw the women. Notice what it says next, “Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him…” (Esther 2:8-9).
If Esther had been angry or feeling sorry for herself because her life circumstances were now turned upside down, do you think she would have PLEASED or FOUND FAVOR with those in charge?
Because of Esther’s beautiful attitude, her beautiful face was seen, and she was QUICKLY moved to the best place in the harem.
Esther found favor in the eyes of ALL who saw her. . .. And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.Esther 2:15 & 17
This study has been humbling!
God allows the circumstances of our lives to move us on the path of providence to the purpose that He has for us. And yet, many times, we grumble and complain over what we must give up or endure or even learn! Yet here is Esther, living in a foreign land with an uncle because her parents have died, and is now taken from that home into the pagan king’s harem. This reminds me of several other Bible characters: The honorable Daniel and his 3 friends, and the tested and tried, Joseph. Each of these individuals experienced so much hardship, injustice, and cruelty by others BUT they did not allow it to sour their spirit or even to lash out from ill-will. Instead, they kept the right attitude and served God with kindness that eventually pushed them into the spotlight and elevated them to places of authority. Yet even more importantly, their God was praised and magnified through His providential care over each of their lives.
How is your attitude today? How is it toward your spouse? Your co-worker? Your children? Your neighbor? Do you allow them to dictate your attitude? Or does kindness flow from a heart that has been forgiven by God? Ephesians 4:32
Humble and Kind! That certainly can be said of Esther! Let’s join her and journey with God’s purpose in mind!