In the Garden of Eden, when God created mankind, He blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply. I believe we often are so shortsighted and internal focused that we miss the entirety of what we are to understand in those words. I don’t think He meant just to give birth to children. Being fruitful is walking in the plan God has laid out for our lives. We can’t even begin to imagine what He has planned and what the outcome will be. Ephesians 3:20 states, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Are you and I living a fruitful life according to God’s plan?
Esther’s Jewish name was Hadassah. (We’ll see the significance of this in a minute.) She was left an orphan when her parents died but she had a relative, Mordecai, who adopted her and raised her as his own. This is a biblical picture of each of us. We are orphans, spiritually, until we come to the point of hearing God calling us and accept His invitation and become part of His family.
This requires some changes to what we have been used to, but when we are adopted into a new family we have a new identify. Our job is to delve into the Word of God and see who we really are. I believe that is what we are witnessing in the life of Esther.
Hadassah was of Jewish descent. Her name meant “myrtle” which has a pleasant fragrance. In Hebrew the righteous are called “myrtles” because they are like a good tree with a pleasant fragrance. But the myrtle also has a bitter taste. While she has a pleasant fragrance to those who know God, to the enemy’s of the Lord, she leaves a “bitter taste” in their mouths! (Just as Jesus, the cornerstone, is the foundation to those who believe, He is a stumbling block to the rest. In other words, He leaves a “bitter taste” in their mouths!) Let’s look at the spiritual meaning of this.
Hadassah was given a secular name of Esther. Esther meant “hiddenness”. What was hidden? I love this! It meant she had “hidden Godliness”!
The world can try to change our identity, but God controls the thoughts and minds of those He chooses who are His. So her “hiddenness” was used in numerous ways as we will see throughout this story.
Some have tried to make the story of Esther a love story between her and the king. That could not be further from the truth! This is a love story between the Esther and the King of kings!
The Jews placed a great importance upon naming their children. When I think of that I am reminded of Psalm 139:13, “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.”
I don’t believe “inward parts” only refers to physical organs. Our inward parts are our character, our personality, our temperament, our thoughts, etc. It’s who God says we are! Let me say that again, IT’S WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE!
Hadassah had Mordecai to call that out of her. If we don’t have someone in our lives to call out of us who God created us to be, we need to find a mentor who is willing to help us discover who we really are!
Knowing who we are in Christ is critical. If we don’t know, we will follow those who are on the broad path to destruction and totally miss the plans that the Lord has for us. Does that apply to the story of Esther? I believe it does.
Hadassah, or Esther, had an internal beauty that drew others to her. Those were the “inward parts” that God had put into her even before she was born. I believe she had a gentleness about her, a humility which didn’t call for attention to herself but a compassion for others that made her attractive, totally apart from any physical appearance. Those characteristics had been fertilized and nourished in her during her growing up years so that she walked in confidence but without any arrogance.
When she was taken captive and taken to the king’s castle I’m sure she was frightened, she had never been in a situation like this. But those characteristics that God had placed in her were apparent. I believe there was something else in her life that was the foundation of her stability during this time; her faith in the living God! Her cousin, Mordacai was a devout Jew and I believe she had a relationship with the Lord. Why do I believe that? Because even with all of the other qualities, there is still something missing in a person who does not have a relationship with the Lord and you can discern that when you meet that person. They can be beautiful, kind, gentle, compassionate, even wealthy, but there is something missing. That something is Jesus Christ! So even though she was in a strange place, among people she didn’t know, and had no idea what to expect, she could trust and lean on the Lord God.
Even non-believers will be drawn to a person with these qualities. So as soon as she was in the castle, the head eunuch, Hegai, recognized that she was different than the other ladies and gave her a favored position.
I don’t think you and I can even imagine the luxury that these ladies were living the next 12 months. They were pampered by immersion into bodies of water with expensive fragrances that actually seeped into their pores and at the end of the treatment, had become a part of them and the fragrance emitted out of their pores without having to “put on” perfume as we do today. The fragrance actually was a part of them! On top of this they were given beauty treatments for their skin, were given the best healthy food, manicures, pedicures, probably lessons in etiquette and dressing and how to walk, etc. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I imagine it was, but I also hear the Spirit say, it’s also a trap.
This type of environment is fertile ground for pride, for gossip, for backbiting, arrogance and a competitiveness that was rooted in evil. Our society today is seducing women into this same place of competitiveness and makes it very difficult for women to have Godly relationships. We’ve been indoctrinated not to trust other women. We’ve been taught to compete and it has become a battle of physical attributes and the spiritual is completely neglected.
I’ve even seen this attitude in many churches I’ve been involved in. There is a pride and arrogance that doesn’t draw women together but makes them unapproachable. I believe God is challenging us women to take a look at in ourselves. Are we so caught up in our appearance, our activities, our direction that we come across as cold to others? If so, go before the Lord and allow Him to show you where you have stepped off the path He designed for you. Repent and begin to allow God to “redesign the clay”. Remember, He is the potter and He sometimes needs to remake the vessel because it is not pleasing in His sight. But His love for you is so great that He is willing to tell you the truth so you can shine for Him!
Oh Lord God Almighty, thank You for Your amazing love! To think that You custom designed each and every one of Your children to possess the character and skills that You knew would be needed for them to walk the path You had laid out for them is too wonderful for words! Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You and looking to the world’s standards to “look” beautiful. You made us beautiful from within, a sweet fragrance that pleases You. Help us Lord to return to our Maker, and allow You to “remold” the broken vessel that we can fulfill the plan You set before us. We bow before You today in humbleness and brokenness, needing the One who can restore our souls. We love You and adore You! Amen.