Whenever you hear or read about the name Queen Esther, what comes to your mind? That Jewish orphan who was lucky enough to get picked by a rich and famous king in a beauty contest to become the queen in place of the dethroned queen Vashti.
Should we blame Queen Esther for Vashti’s downfall? No way! In literature, there is something called a tragic flaw, a tragic flaw is that thing that ultimately leads to the downfall of the hero, not appearing before the King was Vashti’s tragic flaw and neither Esther nor God have the blame, that however is a story for another day.
Ever heard people pray for favour, using Esther as the point of contact? ‘Oh, yea! God of Israel, do what you did for Esther in Shushan for me too, bring me out of oblivion and make me a star, yes Lord, a star’. While it is okay to pray for favour using Esther as a case study, disregarding the things Esther did will result in praying amiss. God did not perform a magic for Esther, therefore, there are some things Esther did that we rarely mention today, should we use ignorance as an excuse? No way! For the scripture admonished us to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that has no shame, rightly dividing the Word of truth.
What did Esther do to make her stand out? The competition was tight, I can’t imagine just any girl going forward to compete, it must have been the gathering of the beautiful and the bold. Not just that, they had to stay in the palace for 12 months for purification and grooming, yea, an entire year away from home, all in order to be worthy of the sight of the King. While all the other girls were trying to outdo one another to win the King’s affection, Esther was seeking out the one who knew all about the King’s taste of women- Hegia.
‘When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. (NIV)Esther 2:8’.
Hegai’s name was mentioned a few times in the book of Esther, but who was this man? He was a eunuch, the King’s servant in charge of the King’s harem, a harem of the King’s concubines. Hegai must have been in the palace for a while, he must have seen the king approving some of his concubines while rejecting others, Hegai knew what the king wanted in a woman, what he get attracted to, this made him qualified for the responsibility of grooming the girls for the pageant.
All the girls under the care of Hegai were given a free hand to do whatever they liked, they were to make demands and request for things at will. Like most of the girls, Queen Esther must have been a novice in such matter, in fact, she was an orphan, being taken care of by her uncle in a strange land.
But while other girls were indulging in their freedom, while they were trying to outdo one another to see who the king will choose, Esther decided to submit her freedom to one man that knew the heart of the king – Hegai.
She allowed Hegai to direct, to teach and groom her, being a woman, Esther must have known some basic things about fashion, but she laid down her knowledge and took up Hagai’s, she refused to depend on her self-effort. Will it be proper to say she used Hagai? Of course, she did. Esther was humble and she thereby found favour before the king.
‘When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail ) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.’ (NIV)Esther 2:15
Note that part, she requested NOTHING! Esther, unlike other girls, she did not depend on her own efforts to succeed, Esther was submissive and this turned out well for her. Notice that Esther did not find favour only before the king? She won the favour of ALL who saw her. Her humility made her attractive, so attractive that she became everyone’s favorite.
So how does this affect you as a Christian? I believe the answer is clear enough if we would open our heart to see.
Jesus said ‘i will not leave you an orphan’, then He gave us The Holy Spirit, the Teacher, Comforter, Helper and the seal of our redemption. Like Hegai knew the well, The Holy Spirit is the heart and desire of the Father.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13)”. In Jesus, we have grace, which means we have unmerited favour. When we submit our will to Him and follow the dictates of the Spirit when we take on the gift of rightousness and deligently loo up to Him to perfect us, we walk in favour, even more than Esther did.
The transformation He works in us is not just outward, He transfroms our core, from within. He makes us new and fitting to possess our inheritance in Christ. This, is an unmerited favour.
Before you pray that God favour you like He did Esther, are you ready to yield to Him like Esther yielded to the King’s Eunuch? God bless you!