Vs. 7, “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.” About four years have passed between chapters 1 & 2….we are now introduced to Esther and she truly must have been very beautiful. Xerxes meanwhile came back from a crushing defeat against the Greeks and must have been looking for something to console him when he returned. Now we see the beginning of the search for the queen. We are also introduced to Esther’s older cousin, Mordecai who raised her like his own daughter. Naturally, Mordecai wanted the best for Esther and devised a plan that I believe was out the Will of God, but God’s providence overruled Mordecai’s bad judgment (vs. 11 shows his uneasiness about the situation). Esther would undergo a whole year of beauty treatments required during that day to have an audience with the king. Favor was upon Esther, much like Joseph when taken into captivity. As the story unfold, we have an “American Idol” type of beauty contest and Esther wins by a landslide. Esther is now the Queen.
Regarding application…God’s Providence. Esther is living proof that God’s providence will prevail. Even though Mordecai & Esther’s intent might not have been in God’s will, God allowed it…for it would be the circumstance that He would use to save His people. God works in mysterious ways and sometimes allows some pretty crazy events to transpire. The important thing here is not to judge Esther or Mordecai, but to just appreciate that even as an imperfect people, God looks at far beyond our weaknesses. Of course, God could have us all perfect beings and worshipping without a choice…but we have the value of a relationship and choice. I look back at all the times I disappointed God and strayed from His will…yet His love & providence has helped me navigate this world just like all of you who are reading this. When tough times come, know God is on our side.