February 9, 2021
Esther 2:8-11 (NKJV) – 8 So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. 9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women. 10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.
As a strategy to win, Esther, at the command of Mordecai, kept her Jewish heritage a secret. Esther and Mordecai’s Jewish heritage and residency in Persia are becoming one in the same. They are not living a life consistent with their faith. They are actively hiding their identify, breaking dietary laws, taking part in sexual promiscuity, and seeking a marriage outside of the nation of Israel. Through these sacrifices, Esther was able to please the King’s Eunuch and receive special privileges and advantages.
The world does not follow the standards that God has set. They place value in vanity, perceived success, satisfaction of the flesh, etc. As Christian’s living in a fallen world, it is vital that we establish our primary culture, belief, and identity routed in Jesus and not whatever the world’s newest philosophy or belief might be. We must stay strong and not sacrifice our beliefs or the truths of scripture only to receive worldly privileges and advantages.
In what ways do you see the world influencing your beliefs, the way you live your life, and how you see yourself?
In what ways do you see Jesus influencing your beliefs, the way you live your life, and how you see yourself?
How do you, or have you, sacrificed or hid your faith in order to receive special privileges, advantages, or to avoid judgement?
Esther 2:12-14 (NKJV) – 12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. 13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.
The women who were a part of this competition were given one chance to impress the king and would then be sent to the house with the less important concubines until their name was called. This house often had better provision than where the woman came from and may have been considered the good life.
Culture can twist what is good and offers a false freedom. The cost to obtain what culture has to offer often is paid by becoming a slave to the world. God’s path for us is not a restriction. It actually saves us from captivity that will lead us to destruction. We have freedom in Christ. We do not need to feel pressure to impress the world in order to obtain a better life. The best life we can have is free of guilt, shame, and does not require us to sacrifice our morals or virtues.
What is our current culture’s perceived path to success and freedom? How does this differ from God’s?