January 31, 2018

The Beauty Pageant

By: Larry Shaffer

Esther 2

The chapter begins with the following in verse 1, “After these things when the anger of King Ahasuerus had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her.” After the embarrassment of the banquet and his subsequent decree regarding women’s requirement of submission, the king most likely diverted his attention and engaged in warfare with the Greeks. At some point he returned to the palace and the sting of missing Vashti hit him. His anger had subsided, but he couldn’t reconcile because of his decree. His servants, seeing his state, suggested “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king…then let the young lady who pleases the king be queen in Vashti’s place. And the matter pleased the king and he did accordingly,” vs. 2-4. I suppose a beauty pageant was just what the king needed to get over his lovely queen.

The bachelor
What we have here is the original TV reality show, The Bachelor. With approximately 20 million women in the Persian kingdom, auditions are organized throughout the land to find and pick the most beautiful virgins in the land. In addition to beauty, most likely poise, demeanor and reputation were considered as well. The chosen ladies would be taken to the palace and taken through a 12 months process of beautification consisting of six months with oil and myrrh and six months with spices and cosmetics. (I assume, of course, they were organic and non-toxic). Essential oils, or course, were all the rage among the king’s court. After the twelve-month spa treatment, they would be taken to the king and then he would ultimately choose the one that pleases him. Yes, that is The Bachelor TV show to a tee. With 20 million competitors, how does God orchestrate Esther to be the King’s choice? Well, He is God and He’s done bigger things. Bottom-line, He wanted her to be in place to do God’s work? More next time.

Lord, I wonder how often you have orchestrated our lives to place us in position to do Your work? How often are we faithful and how often do we miss or resist the opportunity? I’m afraid to really know the answer to that question in my life. May we be more mindful and aware of the opportunities you give us, whether big or small, and may we be faithful. Amen