Esther, Chapters 1 & 2.
I’d like to share with you some precious golden nuggets that the Lord gave me in the book of Esther. We will not cover the whole story in depth, but just take a few things from Esther and apply them to our lives today.
In this story we learn about a king named Ahasuerus. He reigned from India to Ethiopia, over one hundred and twenty seven provinces. A province was something like a village or town. In the third year of King Ahasuerus’s reign, he made a feast for all his princes and for all his servants. The power of Persia, and Media were there. All the nobles and the princes of the provinces stood before him as he showed off all the riches of his kingdom. For one hundred and eighty days he presented his kingdom to all these important people.
After the one hundred and eighty days were over, the king prepared a great feast for everyone that was in Shushan. Both great and small were invited to this feast. It was held in the court of the king’s garden inside the palace. Oh, it was so beautiful in there. There were white, green and blue hangings fastened with cords of fine linen to silver rings. There were pillars of marble. The beds were made of silver and gold. And the flooring was just out of this world! It was marble flooring, and the colors were red, white, blue, and black. What beautiful colors. Can you imagine beds of silver and gold on those shinny marble floors?
The king also gave them royal wine in golden cups. The king told all of his officers to let every man drink as much wine as they wanted to drink.
Vashti, the queen, also threw a party for the women in the royal house. On the seventh day of the feast the king sent his chamberlains to get the queen so that everyone could see her great beauty. The Bible says in verse 11 that Vashti was very fair to look upon. So the king wanted to show her off as well as his everything else in his kingdom. But Vashti refused to come at the Kings command. Those chamberlains went back without Vashti, and in front of all those people they told the king that she refused to come. Boy did that ever make him mad! I mean he was madder than a wet cat! His dignity was shot, and his pride was crushed. He couldn’t bear to look at all those princes and nobles in the face. His anger burned inside as he talked things over with his wise men.
One of his wise men, by the name of Memucan, said to the king, “Vashti has not only sinned against you ,o king, but she has sinned against every one that is in all the provinces. If she gets away with this, all the other women in the provinces will think that they can despise their husbands and get away with it too.. That will bring nothing but contempt, and wrath within our families.”
You know, Memucan was right. He was a very wise man if you ask me. He suggested to the king that Vashti the queen be dismissed from coming in before the king forever. He also suggested that the king find a new queen, one that would be better at taking orders.
So the kings servants appointed officers in all the provinces to gather all the fair young virgins, (these were young ladies who had never been married) and bring them to the palace. The king could pick from these beautiful women one who would be the next queen.
Living in Shushan at the time were Mordecai and Esther. Mordecai’s great, great, great grandfather, and grandmother were taken captive years ago by that wicked king Nebuchadnezzar. Most of the Jews had been dragged off to live in Babylon as slaves to the Babylonians. Esther and Mordecai were descendants, or family, of these Jews which were taken captive. Esther’s mom and dad died when she was very young. So Mordecai, her cousin, took her in as his own child and raised her. He loved Esther very much. The Bible tells us that Esther was a very beautiful young lady. In fact, she was one of the fair young virgins picked to go to the palace and try out for the queen’s position.
All the fair, young virgins were brought to Hegai, who was one of the king’s chamberlain’s. Hegai had a special job, he was keeper of all the women. Do you know what the Bible says in chapter two verse nine? It says that right away Esther pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him. He didn’t waste any time at all. He quickly gave her the things she needed to get ready to see the King. Those things were seven maidens to help her, and all the other things that young women need. Also she had to have two very important things. Without these things, there would be no coming before the king. These two things were oil of myrrh, and sweet odours. The women had to go through a process called, purification. And I’m sure they didn’t mind it at all. This process was just bathing, and soaking in oil of myrrh for six months, and then doing the same with sweet odours for another six months. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how this process was done. They could have just used those things the way women use lotions today. I don’t think there was much of a need for instruction on the subject. Women naturally know what to do with good smelling stuff. At least most women, that is.
Anyway, I’d like to take those two things that Esther used that year and expound on them. I want to apply them spiritually to our lives today. First we will take the oil of Myrrh. Myrrh comes from a small tree called the Balsamodendron myrrha. It has a light, grey bark, and out of that bark come small yellowish droplets. These droplets are oily at first. But when they are exposed to the air after a little while they become hardened, and feel like gum. These droplets were collected and melted down. Myrrh was used in several different ways. It was used in the temple as one of the ingredients in holy anointing oil. It was also used as perfumes or in medicines. What was unique about this Myrrh was it was offered as a gift to the baby Jesus when he came into the world, Matthew 2:11. And it was offered to Jesus mixed with wine, on the cross before he died. So we see it at his birth, and at his death.
Oil is also used for healing wounds. Spiritually speaking, there’s enough oil running off of every page of that old King James Bible that can heal every spiritual wound. All we have to do is apply that word to our lives. In order for a wound to start healing, you must first apply the ointment, right? So now we’ve learned that we must bathe our souls in the oil of God’s word. It would be a good idea to do so, if we are going to be presented before the King soon.
Also the Bible says, “ Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Lamps need oil in order to burn and give out light. The word of God is full of precious oil for our lamps. We just need to get busy and fill our lamps, so we can get the light out. A lamp without oil won’t put out any light.
Now let’s look at sweet odours. “ And how much spiritual application can we get out of sweet odours?” you might ask. Well, do you know that our God loves to smell sweet odours? Yes, our God has a nose, and he can smell things. Remember, we were made in his image? In Geneses 8:21, the first thing Noah did when he came out of the ark, was built an alter, and offered burned offerings to the Lord. The Bible says, “And the Lord smelled a sweet savor ; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again cures the ground any more for man’s sake, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” In Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17, and Numbers 18:17, 28:2-4, it all talks about the sacrifices being of a sweet smelling savor to the Lord.
In Philippians 4:18 Paul the apostle says, “ But I have all, and abound; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.” And verse 19 says, “ But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Do you know what verse 18 has to do with verse 19? Well, when you sacrifice, the Lord always provides. Look at Abraham when the Lord asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham did not hold back, he gave his all to God. He made such a sacrifice, and that was well pleasing to the Lord. It was a sweet savour. And guess what? As soon as Abraham decided to put God’s will ahead of his own, and sacrifice his Son to God, God provided a lamb for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. So you see, when we sacrifice, God will always provide for us. We’re his children, and he loves us very much. The Bible tells us that God loves us more than Mommies, and Daddies on this earth love their own children.
Lastly, let’s look at Romans 12:1. The Bible says here,“ I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The next verse down shows us how we can help present our bodies a living sacrifice. It says, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. The way to renew your mind is to read God’s word daily. You cannot present your body a holy sacrifice if you are not applying the oil from God’s word to your life daily. One just cannot be done without the other. They both go together hand in hand. Esther needed the oil of Myrrh just as much as she did the sweet odours. When you bathe your soul in God’s precious word daily, you become cleaner, and cleaner each day. Remember, he isn’t asking us to do anything unreasonable. It’s all reasonable service. And do you know that when you present your body a living sacrifice to the Lord, it’s a sweet odour to him. Along with that sacrifice comes also the promise of provision. It’s the promise that he will provide grace, strength, and help in time of need.
So Esther had to go through this purification period for 12 months. I think we, as God’s children, need to go through a time of purification. Let’s do this. Let’s try to read our Bibles and pray for six straight months. Let’s sacrifice some of our precious time for our King, shall we?
To make a long story short, the Bible says in 2:17 “And the King loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
You know, the Bible says that all the things Esther needed, to get ready to present herself before the King, were provided to her from the hand of the kings chamberlain. Everything she needed was provided, right down to the toenail polish. She didn’t lack anything at all. She had all her needs met. Let me tell you the most important thing I have learned in my lifetime. Everything I need is in my Bible. Everything we need to get us ready, and prepare us to meet our king is given to us in that old King James Bible. We can also liken the king’s chamberlain to the Holy Spirit. For you see, with the Holy Spirit’s help we receive knowledge on what we’re supposed to do to clean up our lives, and how we are supposed to present ourselves before the King of Kings. We lack for nothing. God has provided all our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. The most important needs are spiritual needs. And every spiritual need is provided for in our Bible’s. Esther had to put a lot of work into getting ready to stand before the king. But when the day came for her to come before the king, she was well pleasing in his sight.
Esther 2:17, “And the King loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.”