According to the Biblical calendar we are in a very special time of the year. Not only is this the year of Jubilee, but it is the celebration of Purim, the story of Esther, in the book of Esther in the Old Testment. I am fascinated as I am reading the book of Esther during Purim this year how much it reveals Gods mercy, grace, and victory in an anti Jewish and anti God political climate we are living today. Purim is the celebration of God working behind the scene for the exiled Jewish in Persia who were suppose to be annihilated at the King of Persia’s edict through the evil Prime Minister Haman.
After three years of King Ahasheroth’s divorcing of his Queen Vashti, the King begins to lament over not having the Queen near him. His young youthful advisors share a plan to have all the young virgins of the kingdom, who are fair and beautiful to be welcomed into his harem. A Jewish man named Mordecai who has been sitting at the palace gate (like Elders did of that day) summons his niece, Esther to go with the other young maidens to be part of the Kings harem. The book of Esther says she was beautiful to look upon. But it was not just her beauty that gave her favor, it was here attitude in an bad situation and here ability to submit even when odds where against her. Like Joseph, Daniel, and David she understood there were two options when one is in exile. The first is resistance which would certainly not be good. The other is submission.
Every night the head Eunich would choose one of the virgin girls to spend the night with the King. It was the custom of each girl to choose something of her choice to take into the King’s chamber for her to have self confidence. Many chose personal items, musical instruments, garments, and jewelry. The night game for Esther’s turn. When the Eunuch asked her what she wanted to take with her, her response was different. She ask the Eunuch what he thought she should take into the King? The Head of the King’s harem would know better than anyone else what would impress the King. What wisdom and what common sense.
What was it about Esther that caused the King to favor her and make her His Queen? The little Jewish orphan girl living in exile has now become Queen of Persia. Obviously she was able to satisfy the King in bed. Ancient Rabbi’s have said about her, “she had the ability and grace to adapt to meeting His needs. If he wanted a virgin she could be a virgin. If he wanted a married woman, she could be a married woman.” But it was much more than that. Rabbis also teach she had the personality of increasing his self worth and satisfying the pangs of his spirit by offering stability. Esther bestows on the King the gift of power–precisely for that which he had so desperately longed for.
She had a unique quality that is lacking in our society. R. Eleazar says of her, “Esther put others at ease in such a degree that every man mistook her for a member of his own people.”
God uses her to save the Jewish people with the qualities of a savior. She is an Anti-type, typology of Christ. I amazed at the insight God is showing his called out ones to manifest His glory during this season. Happy Purim.