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Esther 2

Esther  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Every believer should see the providence of God as he places his people where they need to be to bless not only the Jews, but the Babylonians as well.

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Esther 2:1 NKJV
After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.

After the king cools off he realizes what he has done.
How often do we make rash decisions?
Said things we almost immediately regret?
Decisions we wish we could take back?
Esther 2:2–4 NKJV
Then the king’s servants who attended him said: “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king; and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them. Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This thing pleased the king, and he did so.
I know king, lets have a royal beauty pageant!
We’ll gather all the beautiful young girls, (who cares if they want to participate or not).
We’ll bring them to the palace and put them up in your harem.
We’ll get them all dolled up and pretty.
Then you get to pick who you want to be your new queen.
Then you’ll forget all about that troublemaker Vashti!
Imagine that, having a group of beautiful young ladies paraded before him for his own pleasure, to be used until he finds the one he likes.
Sounds like it’s good to be the king.
But what is really going on here?
All the kings servants seem to care about is the outward appearance of these women.
They aren’t looking for wisdom or trustworthiness.
They aren’t looking for someone who is good, just someone who looks good.
Proverbs 31:10–12 NKJV
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She watches over the ways of her household,

And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done well,

But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:26–30 NKJV
She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
The king’s advisors aren’t looking for this kind of woman, they are looking only skin deep.
And the king liked this idea.
It was the kings job to decide rightly how to proceed.
Instead, he listened to foolish advisors.
Do we look for advice that we like rather than that is wise?
Esther 2:5–7 NKJV
In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.
Into our story enters Mordecai and Esther.
Mordecai is a Jew who was brought to Babylon when Jeconiah was captured and taken into captivity.
Mordecai is a decedent of Kish, the father of Israel’s first king, Saul.
Mordecai took the responsibility for his uncle’s daughter when her parents died.
Yes, this is what we expect from a family, to take care of each other, especially when times are rough.
Mordecai took Esther in and raised her as his own daughter.
Esther was a beautiful young lady, so guess what happened?
Esther 2:8 NKJV
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.
That’s right, Esther gets taken away to join the harem of young ladies for this royal beauty pageant.
Esther 2:9 NKJV
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.
Like Joseph, Esther’s beauty was more than skin deep.
She pleased Hegai the eunuch, obtained favor from him, so he gave her special treatment.
Esther was in a harem of beautiful women, so why did Hegai give her special treatment?
Could it be because her character stood out?
Could she be the virtuous wife described in Proverbs?
Just as Joseph was trusted by Potiphar and the jailer, and therefore given a special place, Esther is given maids and the best place to live.
Even in difficult times, those who follow God should stand out.
You may not be picked for special treatment, but you should shine because you love your Lord!
Esther 2:10–11 NKJV
Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 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.
Why did Mordecai tell Esther not to reveal who she was?
We’ll find out later, but the answer is there were people in Babylon, and in the palace who did not like the Jews.
Remember, they were captured and brought to Babylon in chains.
Even though Esther had been taken away, Mordecai still watched out for her.
Although our children may grow up, a good parent still watches out for them.
Esther 2:12–14 NKJV
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. 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. 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.
Let the games begin!
After a year of preparation, each young lady got one chance to sleep with the king.
She got to choose what she would take with her.
After that, she joined the harem of the king’s concubines.
So this is a rather twisted beauty pageant.
Part beauty pageant, part forced prostitution ring with the young ladies competing to land their sugar daddy.
The consolation prize being life in a golden cage.
Come to think of it, this does sound like a season of “The Bachelor” taken to royal extremes!
Esther 2:15–18 NKJV
Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. So 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 other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.
This reminds me of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when Indy has to choose the right cup to save his father’s life. After making the choice, the knight said “You have chosen… wisely.”
With the favor of God, she has the wisdom to get advice from Hegai.
She was willing to listen to others, especially those with experience.
As opposed to the king, who seemed to listen to fools that tickled his ear.
Just as Hegai favored her, Ahasuerus favors her as well, falling in love with her.
What made Esther different than all the other virgins?
Could it be her relationship with God and how that effected how she acted?
Rather than the life of a concubine, Esther is now queen.
Esther 2:19–20 NKJV
When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate. Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
The scene changes, the virgins are gathered a second time.
Mordecai is still sitting within the king’s gate.
Probably listening to hear how Esther is doing.
Although queen, Esther still obeys the command of Mordecai.
Do we keep the promises we’ve made, even if we think the situation has changed?
We may not see the reason right away, but we’ll see over the next few weeks how Esther’s keeping of her promise to Mordecai will impact not only the Jews, but all of the Babylonian empire.
Esther 2:21–23 NKJV
In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
While at the gate, Mordecai hears of a plot against the king.
What is he to do? Mordecai is a nobody, a captive from Judah. Who will listen to him?
Besides, what does Mordecai owe the king?
He tells Esther, who tells the king, giving credit to Mordecai.
After an investigation, the plot is uncovered, the plotters are hanged and the matter is recorded in the chronicles of the king.
This somewhat parenthetical story will also become important later on.
What can we see in this part of the story?
We should not look at people only skin deep, but look at their character.
Acting in a godly fashion may not make you rich, but it will make you holy.
And the world will notice. They may not like it, but they will notice.
You may not be rewarded for your godly actions on earth, but our Father in Heaven always notices.
Even if you owe someone nothing, you should do the right thing before God.
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