READ: Esther 2:1-18

 “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. {Esther 2:17, ESV}

Once upon a time, an elite group of the most beautiful women in all the land were chosen to meet the man of their dreams (who just so happens to be a king). Unfortunately, they all met him at the same time….

These lovely ladies were sought out by officers in all of the provinces of the kingdom and gathered under the custody of the king’s eunuch. This eunuch, Hegai (think…Chris Harrison, if you will), is in charge of giving these women beauty treatments, lavish food, luxurious living quarters, and probably anything else their little hearts’ desired.

Sound familiar? Perhaps like a hit Reality-TV series? Maybe ABC doesn’t get to take full credit for the idea of introducing several beautiful young ladies to an eligible bachelor and making it into a game, a competition, a battle for that coveted final rose. Or a final crown, as it were in this case.

If King Ahasuerus were to be the next contestant on “The Bachelor,” I wonder how well-liked he would be. After kicking out his most recent Queen because she wouldn’t dance for his buddies on command, he decides to hold a beauty contest of sorts, to find his next queen. However, they won’t be good enough “as-is”…they will need to undergo a year’s worth of beauty treatments to make them worthy of appearing before him. In the meantime, he will keep himself occupied with his concubines. When the year of “beautifying” is complete, each young woman is to go before the king and is allowed to take one thing with her. The next morning, she doesn’t get to return to the harem from which she came with all of the other beautiful virgins. She now gets to join the second harem, with all of the concubines. “She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name,” {Esther 2:14}. How glamorous, right? Who among us would be first in line to sign up for this?

Although the King may not be climbing the popularity polls, I think it’s pretty profound that even a man of this type of character cannot help himself when introduced to a woman who knows her worth.

A woman who knows her worth and walks in humility is absolutely irresistible. Click To Tweet

This arrogant, pious, selfish king melted like butter when Esther walked into the room. In fact, she didn’t just win his favor, but the favor of his right-hand man {Chris Harrison,…er, Hegai}. What was so unique and special about her that she had everyone swooning?

“…she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace,… the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen…” {Esther 2:15-17}

I picture this young girl who was raised by a cousin because her parents both died. I imagine the pain and confusion she must have felt, the questioning of her future. The years of doubt that must have led up to this moment in her life. The fear of what might happen if her heritage was made known. Yet…she was “pleasing” to everyone.

It says, “Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her,” {Esther 2:15}. Why was she pleasing? How did she win favor?

Her character was forged through her pain; she let it make her better, not bitter.

The king fell so in love with Esther that he crowned her and made her queen, and then gave a great feast in her honor. She must have made quite an impression, right?! It gets better…He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity, {Esther 2:18}.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a woman with influence like this! For Esther, it wasn’t about winning or gaining control, or the prize at the end. She wasn’t fighting for that final rose. We read that she won the favor of all who saw her. This goes beyond pretty. This little Jewish orphan girl now a Queen could teach us a thing or two about how our countenance, being pleasing (i.e., pleasant!), and seeking the favor of others, can compel change that far surpasses any influence we would have on our own.

Believe it! Trust it! Live it!REFLECT:
  • What pain have you gone through that God could redeem to forge your character and accomplish His purposes for your life?
  • Think about any bitterness from past wounds that might affect your countenance, or how pleasing you are to be around. List the wounds that still impact you deeply.
  • Is there a particularly difficult person in your life that you would like to influence? How can this passage increase your faith that even those farthest from God can be softened by a woman who represents Him well?

Father God, we praise you for being a good King, one who accepts us just as we are, no beauty treatments required. Thank you for the favor and grace you have bestowed upon us, that we are your daughters and your friends. I ask you to reveal your heart towards us. I know You love to make broken things beautiful and make our messes into masterpieces. Thank you that even in the darkest moments when we can’t see ahead, you go ahead and prepare a path for us. Please show us how to be women of influence, who use our pain for a purpose, and who use kindness and gentleness to draw others to your ways.

Download your FREE John Study Guide + be the first to receive other freebies and faith resources to your inbox!

Yes, so happy to connect with you!












Image: Found at Washingtontimes.com

Elizabeth Oschwald
Elizabeth Oschwald
I’m Elizabeth, wife to an industrious, handsome fixer-upper {I mean…he fixes things, not he needs to be fixed} and Mom/Stepmom {a.k.a. Imma} to 6 amazing kids. I homeschool the ones I hatched myself, and we live on our family farm in central Illinois. I love to write about our real-life experiences, how Jesus is in everything, and how God can redeem even the biggest messes in the most beautiful, unexpected (and very Brady) ways. You can read more about my crazy crew at www.AddingJoy.com!

1 Comment

  1. BethAnn says:

    Elizabeth, I so love the way you unfold a story. I can’t imagine what pressure the women in today’s text must have gone through – a year of beauty treatments — I can’t even! And it’s so true, a woman who knows her worth and yet walks with humility while staying true to her character is extremely captivating. We are only able to walk in this manner when we press into God for his help. When I try on my own, I end up looking arrogant or hotty…it just doesn’t go well. Beautiful post Elizabeth!!

Pin It on Pinterest