We all long and need to be loved and Esther was no exception.
When an edict went out to all the virgins in the Persian Empire, inviting them to the city of Susa and the king’s palace, Esther was one of the four hundred lovely young women who gathered there. It was a beauty contest of sorts, and the winner would become the second wife of King Xerxes. All the young virgins became part of the king’s harem and each one was brought to spend a night with the king.
Which one would please him?
To be the bride of King Xerxes meant marrying a man who had divorced and banished his first wife, Vashti, for refusing to obey his drunken command to display her beauty before his subjects and nobles.
Esther is the chosen one, the new bride. Perhaps the king recognized in this young woman a gentleness, a beauty of character, something that fed his soul even more than her physical beauty fed his sexual appetites.
Still, although she was the Queen, Esther could not approach her husband unless he called for her. If, in her boldness, she approached him and he failed to hold his royal scepter out to her, she would be put to death.
Thankfully, when life doesn’t fit the ideal, God’s plans are not thrown off!
Her heritage was a secret until Esther discovered a plot against the Jews. Then, in spite of her apprehensions, she approached her husband, the king, on behalf of her people.
Where did her strength come from? Esther, I believe, rested in the sure knowledge that she was loved by God. Whether or not her husband loved her mattered far less than that. The assurance that God was on her side directed her attitude, her behaviour, her life. This inner strength, which, quite possibly she wasn’t aware she possessed until she exercised it, set her apart from all the others and demonstrated a valuable quality in any godly leader.And because of that, God used her in this pivotal, history-changing role. Esther leaves us with a message of hope. God is with us in the midst of whatever circumstances we find ourselves. He did not abandon His people. He did not abandon Esther. And He will never abandon us.
And there is no greater love than that.
Written by Ruth Coghill