Grace And Favour
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 favour 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 favour 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.
[Esther 2:15-18 NKJV]
Milady was looking for these verses today and I could find no better to meditate upon this morning.
There are some books in The Bible that yield ‘something beyond’ what one might expect. I do not mean this to disparage others; merely that The Lord uses certain books at times in our walk with Him to speak to us precisely what His purpose is for us, either individually or corporately. Along with Song of Solomon, Ruth, Zechariah and John’s Gospel, Esther has often said so much to me personally.
Esther (her name means ‘star’), finds herself before King Ahasueras (most likely Xerxes) in the winter month of Tebeth. This is his seventh year as ruler, telling us that he has come into the fullness of his power.
Esther had an unusual family situation; she is the daughter of Abihail (meaning ‘my father is strength, or might’), but is also taken as a daughter to her cousin Mordecai, which is explained in verse 7:
And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah (Myrtle), 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. [Esther 2:7 NKJV]
There is the germ of the notion that individuals of great significance are fatherless, or perhaps better, have been adopted into another family. The most obvious example of this is Jesus, of course, and the ‘virgin birth’. (You will note that Esther is presented to the King by the King’s eunuch, testifying to Esther’s virginity). Matthew’s Gospel also give Jesus’ genealogy in chapter 1, and taking the two ideas together could be meant to confirm Jesus as God and man.
For Esther — drawing together the threads of her story — we are being presented with evidence that she is ‘God’s woman’ in that hour, and as a woman, she is a type of God’s church on earth — the ‘Bride of Christ’, if you will — and thus most deserving of the grace and favour of the King. We too will be seen as beautiful in His eyes and worthy of His grace and favour if we in turn commit ourselves fully to the King, remembering always that He sees us exactly as we are.
PRAYER: We thank you Lord, that we can be adopted in Your family by giving ourselves completely to Your care, receiving and benefitting from Your amazing grace, Your abounding favour and Your great love.
Humility is the one stamp of a saint. Beware of the complacency of superiority when God’s grace has done anything for you.
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART