Queen Vashti was banished. Beautiful young virgin girls from all the provinces of Persia and Media were gathered into the women’s quarters. The girls then went through beauty preparations. This preparation time consisted of six months with oil of myrrh and another six months with special perfumes. That amounts to a total of a year soaking in fragrances. I guess us guys shouldn’t complain when our wives take a few extra minutes getting ready – at least it’s not a year!
After a year each young lady would be brought to the king in the evening and leave in the morning. The one who most pleased him would be chosen to replace Vashti. This is all a polite way of describing a harem. The women weren’t in a cooking contest. I’m sure some of them did not want to be there and wanted to go home.
One of the girls was a Jewish captive of the Babylonians now under Persian control. Her name was Hadassah (Persian name – Esther). An orphan, she had been raised by her uncle. The Bible says Hadassah was lovely and beautiful. (2:7) From the time she came into the palace she obtained the favor of the custodian of the women, Hegai, the king’s eunuch. In fact we are told she “obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.” (2:15) The favor here would have been cultivated from Hadassah’s person not her sexuality.
Hegai gave special and insightful instruction to Hadassah when her time with the king came. And “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.” (2:17) A Jewish orphan taken from her homeland to foreign soil became queen of the great world empire of the Persians and the Medes. Only God in heaven could bring such a thing to pass and indeed He did. Only God could take sinners like me and you and through Christ make us sons and daughters and heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8: 17)
God put Esther on a throne for her such a time to accomplish His purposes and plans. He in turn has made us royalty as well for our such a time to accomplish His purposes and plans. (I Peter 2:9-10) Are we really aware of this? Are we living our lives and times accordingly? Are we “walking circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil”? (Ephesians 5:15-16)