I know I am a day late but I really want to share this with you! I have been diving into an Old Testament book about an orphan Jew named Hadassah. She was also the most beautiful girl in her time. If you guessed this girls name as Esther you would also be correct.
She was between the ages of 14 to 20 years old. She was being raised in Persia (better known to us as Iran) under the rule of King Ahasuerus (aka King Xerxes, at least some scholars say it is the same person). His wife Vashti was summoned to come before the king and the people in his party and she refused. He was angry that she didn't "obey" and so he banned her from the palace and took away her crown. Then his "princes" (those closest to him) told him that he should hold a beauty contest and find a beautiful bride ~ one that would please him.
So why Esther? What can we learn from her?
1. There is a preparation time. She allowed herself to be prepared for the task. I am sure that Mordecai taught her how to pray and all of the ways of the true King, the Great I AM. I believe that she knew the stories of David, Moses, and Abraham. She was a Jew and this was her heritage. So when she was taken away & put in the Kings palace I am sure that she knew that the Lord would always be with her.
While she was in the palace she received 6 months of oil & myrrh and then 6 months of perfumes...they liked for their women to smell good! I am sure that she also received teachings on hair, makeup and of course all of the "rules" of the Persian government. After all they were trying to find a queen for the king!
The refining of our character is very essential to God's plan for our life. What is your character and does it resemble Jesus? The Bible tells us to constantly examine ourselves. We are to be cities set on the hill for all to see Jesus shining through us!
God CANNOT use a proud woman or man. There are several verses that states that He does not like the proud. Let's boast about Him and all that He does and not ourselves!
2. We need the favor of God. Esther not only found favor with the King but she found favor with Hegai (the kings eunuch). I am sure that because of her character she found favor with the other girls that were there with her as well. Read Esther 2:9 and you will see the favor that Hegai gave Esther:)
Even Jesus grew in favor with God and man~ Luke 2:52.
When you live a life pleasing to God, by OBEYING His will, then you will find favor in Him. God will also bless you with favor with the people around you!
3. God works in His own time and season. Esther got her timing right. If you are in God's word and resting in Him then you will know when you are supposed to move. Allow Him to lead you and don't just jump!
Let's look again in Esther....by this time the king had named Haman his "right hand man". Haman was an evil man who hated the Jews with a passion. He became furious when Mordecai refused to bow to him and then even more so when he had to parade Mordecai around town proclaiming that he was a great man because he had saved the life of the king. He decided that it wasn't enough to just kill Mordecai but he wanted to eliminated ALL Jews. Mordecai heard of the plan and became upset. So he told Queen Esther and now the lives of their people depended on her.
Esther 4: 13-16..."Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more that all the other Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther to them to reply to Mordecai Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And I will go to the king, which is against the law and if I perish, I perish!"
She was going against protocol! She could not go before the king without being summoned. She did go before the king and he lowered his scepter which excused her action. She invited him and Haman to a dinner to plead her case for her people.
4. Your background DOES NOT hinder your future with God. Esther had not told the king-up to this point- that she was a Jew. She was told to keep her identity a secret but now this had to come out. Your past does NOT determine what God can for with you. Jacob was a Master of Deception, Gideon was a Self Doubter, David was a Premeditated Sinner, Solomon was an Unwise Lover, Elijah was a Slow Learner, Jonah was a Prejudiced Prophet, Rahab was a Prostitute, Abraham was a Liar and Impatient....BUT God used all of them to do GREAT things for HIM!!! God is merciful and will use you if you are willing to be used! When you know who you are in Christ then you can stand up taller!