Crowned with favor
God, help me to serve You in quietness and humility and to allow space for You to work.
Read ESTHER 2:15–23
 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.  She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.  Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.  And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.  When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate.  But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.  During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.  But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.  And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Esther position herself?
A luxury, celebrity lifestyle with wealth and fame might seem appealing. But, as the media shows us, the experience may not turn out to be as good as the dream. Esther, our heroine, had the beauty treatments, the diet, the clothes, the jewelry—”anything she wanted” (12,13). But it’s not these things that preoccupy her. There’s a sense of purpose both in her submission to Hegai (9,15) and to her guardian Mordecai (20). The writer is discreet about what the king’s summons meant for this young, powerless exile (16). No Vashti-style protests for Esther. She quietly submits—with such grace that the king crowns her as queen (17). Why has God brought her to this point? Esther knows it’s not all about her—and she’s not on her own. Hegai, the man in charge of the harem, was looking out for Esther (9,15). Mordecai, watching out for her at the king’s gate (21), uncovers a plot to assassinate the king (21–23). This gruesome tale will be important for the story of how God rescues his people through Esther (22). We often can’t see the big picture, but it’s good to remember that God can. How might he be at work in the struggles of our own lives?
Journal about this seeming paradox: “In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isa. 30:15).
Lord, help me to trust You, to walk with an awareness that I am not alone and that You are working on my behalf.