Esther Chosen Queen
2 After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king’s young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.
Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away. He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.
Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women—when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther’s feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.
Mordecai Discovers a Plot
Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
Esther 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“Exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”Psalm 75:6-7
God’s sovereignty is complete. It is all-encompassing. Scripture tells us He raises up kings and tears others down. (Daniel 2:21) During political seasons when such hotly debated thoughts as to who the ‘best candidate is’ and who ‘would be the worst for this country’ – do we still believe God’s sovereignty, in the end, will prevail?
No, I’m not wading into a political discussion here, far from it, but how much do we believe God is who God is and in control of all things? All things even from the raising up of leaders (whom we may not believe in even) to the tearing down of others? How much energy are we putting into things along these lines as so many have made politics the nature of combative argument, pulling division among Believers even, and missing more important faith issues to be lived out?
God is still sovereign. He is still in control. And regardless of what our own beliefs are of specific matters along these lines, He raises up and tears down. Our trust must be in the God of all rather than the tangible outcome of something we desire.
Esther’s life was remarkable. A girl of Jewish exiles who both were dead she was raised in a hostile land. Her cousin raised her. Taken under compulsion into the king’s harem, she was found with favor with all she met. God rested upon her. Finally, through an interesting ancient cultural regime of things, she was selected as the Queen.
This was not by accident. It wasn’t just the luck of the draw or based upon her beauty. God had a plan and Esther was part of it.
The same is true for each of us. God has a plan for each of our lives. Wherever we may find ourselves, He has purpose behind this placement. Maybe it’s simply a short purpose; possibly it’s a long one. Regardless, He has a plan. As we will discover through this remarkable story, the inner workings of His plan, even through men who are completely evil, He will work and bring about something to the protection and greater work among the Jewish people.
Do you believe in God’s sovereignty? Do you live with such hope beyond the current? These are the questions.
Esther 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
A little over 6 years ago, I was given a front-row seat to a miraculous event that I had never seen before. My wife and I had been unable to conceive for many years, and after a long journey of prayer and struggle, we believed God was calling us to adopt. At the time, I had no idea what to expect. We were cautioned from the beginning not to set our expectations high.
Our agency told us that opportunities to adopt were rare and that it could take up to several years before we were chosen by a birth mother. In fact, at the time we began paperwork, there was only one potential birth mother and 20+ couples who had already completed their paperwork. The odds seemed overwhelming and we prepared ourselves for the long road.
Then, out of nowhere, there was a new birth mother. She had looked through all the other profiles but hadn’t decided on anyone yet. My wife and I had just completed our paperwork but didn’t have a profile created for ourselves yet. I remember putting it together thinking, “Could this really happen?”
We were matched with our birth mother Feb 1, 2013, and our daughter was born in March. We had started the paperwork in the summer of 2012 and by March of 2013, we were parents of a newborn baby! Unheard of! It was a divine collision birthed by the hand of God in the most timely and extraordinary way that illustrated His glory and power. It was His favor.
Esther was blessed by God and granted divine favor. Just like our story, God’s hand took her on a collision course dead set on the Persian Empire. Exiled and orphaned, who could have dreamed this girl would be elevated to one of the most powerful positions in the entire world? This is how God works. These are the ways He brings glory to Himself.
God’s favor extends beyond our comprehension. His grace and mercy are unending. His glory lights up our world.