â€śTHE WORLDâ€™S FIRST BEAUTY QUEENâ€ť
Esther was a young, beautiful, Jewish woman living in Persia. Due to a very strange set of circumstances, she was unknowingly thrust into one of the greatest stories of all time. Hers' is the story of unusual faith, wisdom and courage. She faced adversity and uncertainty with incredible confidence and boldness. She is a national hero to the Jewish people, and has been a source of inspiration to young men and women through-out the ages.
The great lesson of Esther is not just what God can do for us, but what He does with, and through us. As we journey through the pages of this story, keep in mind the promise of the Apostle, Paul. â€śNo eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love himâ€ť (1 Cor.2:9 NIV)
In studying this beautiful story, we will discover four separate stories neatly wrapped in the story of Esther:
1. â€śThe storyâ€ť -This is the story as recorded in Scripture
2. â€śHer storyâ€ť -This is the story that reveals the character of the woman in The story
3. â€śHis storyâ€ť -This is the story of God working out His Sovereign will in, and through Her story. At the judgment we are told that the books will be openedâ€¦ Malachi also tells us that, â€śthey that feared the Lord spoke often one to another and the Lord listened and heard it. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord. And who meditate on His name.â€ť (Malachi 3:16)
4. â€śMy-storyâ€ť - This is the story of my gleanings from Her story. In each of our lives God is writing â€śHis story.â€ť It is the story of his love, His grace, His mercy, His protection and His providence. John calls it, â€śchosen and ordained.â€ť (John 15:16 NKJV) Paul calls it, â€śpredestinedâ€ť (Rom.8:29 NKJV) In this amazing story we are able to enjoy the fragrance, and rest in the shade of the myrtle tree as we follow the star to our own destiny. Here we gather the gleanings of lifeâ€™s experiences from the garden of Estherâ€™s story, and store them in the barn of our aspirations as we journey to our respective destinies.
The story begins with the longest recorded party ever held. King Xerxes held a 180-day feast in Susa (Shushan) the palace. While in "high spirits" from wine, he ordered his queen, Vashti, to appear before him and his guests to display her beauty. But when the attendants delivered the king's command to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. Furious at her refusal to obey, the king asked his advisers how to deal with his obstinate wife. Upon their advice that it would set a bad precedent for other women to refuse to obey their husbands, he removed her from being queen.
A recruitment drive was initiated to find a new queen suitable for the King. This was done in the form of a beauty pageant in which the most beautiful young women were selected and vetted in a most unusual manner. At the end of the day Esther, a Jewish orphan raised by her cousin, Mordecai, was chosen.
Discovering her destiny
Esther is the worldâ€™s first beauty queen and is one of only two women in the bible to have a book bearing her name. She dared to risk death for her people and in doing so discovered her destiny. By her faith and courage, she delivered her nation from total annihilation, and proved to be the instrument of Godâ€™s providence in the working out of His glorious purpose in the preservation of His chosen people.