The Book of Esther
After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
After These Things
Xerxes, or as we know him, Ahasuerus, went off to war with Greece from 481-479 BC. World History teaches us that he lost a naval battle off Salamis and was driven out in utter defeat. It was during these bad times Xerxes, Ahasuerus, began longing for the most beautiful of his harem, Vashti. Vashti had been banned from his presence and this brought fear to his advisers. Not only would restoring Vashti as Queen threaten them, but seeking ways to nullify the decree would take away their public influence. They proposed a beauty pageant and every candidate would spend a year making ready to meet the king. This matter pleased the king and they did as was devised and continued in their scheme.
Mordecai, a Benjamite of Saul's descendants, Kish is now introduced. This new character, being a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, has been employed in the imperial court as a nobleman of Judah being among the fourth generation of deported Jews. Mordecai had raised his younger cousin as his own daughter since her parents death and was now supporting Esther in the up-coming appointment with the king. Esther was described as not only having a grand physical beauty, but an exceptional feminine grace that captured one’s heart.
Thoughts: Turmoil, defeat and maybe some depression had gripped the heart of King Ahasuerus. He had lost his queen, been utterly humiliated in battle against Greece and now was contemplating reuniting himself with Vashti. Loss is very devastating and to those who have suffered such deprivation there is only One who can ease and console the heart of man, that is our Lord. Did King Ahasuerus have a personal relationship with God? I am of the impression, he did not. Where would he get support or comfort? Fallen man fills his mind and heart with everything and anything he thinks that will cheer or reassure him in the disappointments of life. A beauty contest and the thought of a new relationship appeared to bring relief to the heart of King Ahasuerus, for a time.
When looking for comfort and assurance of love, look to the One who loves you above all else, and remember the words from the Apostle Paul who said: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:30-39)