A Beauty Treatment for the Soul
Setting the stage
The story of Esther is a feast for our imaginations. Complete with an ancient capitol, a King, an assassination plot, and evil people promoted to powerful positions while the deeds of good people are overlooked. The drama of a queen deposed for insulting her husband creates an opportunity for some up and coming young woman. I imagine the palace intrigue and all the young ladies of royal blood vying for the eye of the King. But the word goes out that a new queen is to be chosen from the most beautiful girls in the entire land. Our heroine, Esther, is a young woman from a conquered people group who is gathered into the harem because she is, of course, very beautiful. The virgins were required to complete beauty treatments for a year before having one fateful night with the King. Which one of them would be the one woman chosen to be queen out of all the beautiful women? The remaining young women would become concubines in the harem, never to see the King again unless He called for them. No pressure there.
What did our heroine do in this stressful situation?
What was life like in the harem during that year? I can imagine that after the initial fear, honor and uncertainty there were friendships made and possibly more than a little vanity, pettiness and jockeying for position going on. Our heroine didn't get caught up in daily harem drama and this gave her favor with the person in authority over her. Instead of being greedy in her opulent surroundings and trying to control something - anything, at this uncertain time in her life, Esther only asked for what her adviser suggested. Believing God to be sovereign in the craziness of her life, Ester's attitude was humble and trusting to those in authority around her. The Biblical narrative only mentions Esther's choices and her reactions but regardless of her feelings, she did the right and wisest thing. Esther dutifully spent a year preparing for her King. When it was her turn she didn't ask for anything that was not suggested for her. I wonder how Esther felt about her situation. Was she confident? Was she afraid? She doesn't sound bold.
What made Esther stand out to the King?
Of all the beautiful girls, Esther was chosen to be queen. Why was this one young woman chosen? I have to think her difference was more than skin deep. Deeper than beauty treatments for the outside. Esther's King knew a good woman when He saw one. The Bible says she was beautiful of form and face but it also speaks to the attitude of her heart and her intelligence. It seems that our heroin's beauty, brains and attitude delighted the King. Looking at her life through the story, you can see that she listened. She obeyed. She humbled herself. She accepted life as it was, not how she imagined it in her girlhood dreams. There is no record of her being proud, bitter, angry, unforgiving, living in guilt or shame, being manipulative or envious.
Esther conquered her fear and God conquered the villain
But she did have times when she looked at the situation around her in fear. Whew! I am relieved that she wasn't perfect. After her initial fear she listened to her Uncle and to reason, then prayed and sought God in crisis. Today Esther is a Jewish national hero. The feast of Purim is celebrated because of her bravery.
Did her attitude affect her altitude?
As a girl I was enthralled with this story and imaged what Esther's life would have been like. Oh the clothes she must have worn. The palace must have been beautiful and exotic. I imagined the King was very handsome. What did Esther think of? What did she dream of? We don't know everything about her but we do have facts about her character. Her humility stands out to me. Her respect for authority. Her wisdom in planning. Her good sense in knowing when to keep quiet. Her willingness to bravely set aside her life for God's greater purpose. Her trust in God. Her knowledge of prayer and fasting. The way she honored her husband and her uncle.
A Beauty Treatment for our Souls
In praying about the blog posts for Quenched this year, early one morning God impressed Esther on my mind. Esther was mandated to have beauty treatments for her outward appearance but God strongly impressed me with the thought of "A Beauty Treatment for our Souls." I began to study Esther's story. I could see a parallel of the Christians inner beauty after salvation as we learn more about our Lord and gradually become more like Him, making loving choices as He would. In this process called sanctification, there are things that can be difficult to face but our wise heavenly Father is the healer of our souls. Could he be calling you to a beauty treatment for the soul?
The true villain of our souls
Our enemy, Satan who is the true villain in our lives, would like nothing better than to keep us in pain, to fool us into hanging onto emotions that God means for us to let go of. God is our loving Heavenly Father and healing our hurts is important to Him.
Lavish Yourself with Two or three Beauty Treatments a Month
I plan to post two or three posts a month on subjects that I unfortunately have experience with. I'll be examining myself as I write and praying for everyone reading the posts. Won't you join me as the Father lavishes us with Beauty Treatments for the Soul from February to November? Then in December we will celebrate our King with hearts that are more like His.
Will you join me ?
Will you be brave and look deep within? Will you apply the healing ointments of God's love to your tender heart? Whether you are a new Christian or have walked with the Lord for years, join me. We can live our whole lives and not know the depths of God's love and care for us. I will be looking within my own heart, searching my soul for each lesson and listening for God's leading. I hope you'll join me for a year of discovery, healing and delighting in the love of our King.
Share with others?
Please share Quenched with your friends, or someone who is going through a difficult time. You never know who may need a beauty treatment for their soul or an encouraging word.
Esther, a book worth reading
I invite you to read the book of Esther in the Bible. It isn't long but it's set in an exotic land full of intrigue, people who are very real, and our God who is sovereign!
I hope you'll join me?