Bible In One Year-Day 185 (Friday, July 04, 2014)
Commentary: Esther1-3. The book of Esther was of an era after the first return of the Jews to Jerusalem from Babylon under the leadership of Zerubbabel. The story in it was a demonstration of God’s faithfulness to His people. There is nowhere in the book where “GOD” is mentioned, but His acts was clearly seen. He defended His interest in the lives of His people.
King Ahasuerus was a powerful but cruel king that ruled over about 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia (Cush). He loved pleasures so much that he decided to make his wife a signboard of pride and arrogance. Truly, he had a beautiful woman as a wife, Queen Vashti.
Esther 1:11 “To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.”
Unfortunately, the beauty disappointed him the day he needed it most. Through the counsel of his wise men, he sought for a replacement of the beauty he used to boast of.
Esther 2:2 “Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:”
In his search, Esther was found. Though she tried to hide her identity, something could not hide her. That same thing arrested the palace workers and the king himself.
Esther 2:17 “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
The beauty of Esther was not on the outside, it was in her. The king was looking for beauty, but he found virtue in Esther. He had never seen that before. There are many women but few wives. There are many wives but much fewer women of virtue. Women of virtue don’t carry their beauty on the outside or the face; it rests inside and not until you draw closer you can’t see it. Beautiful women could become wives easily but not necessarily virtuous women. Virtuous woman carries something outside of the natural. You could differentiate between these things by giving correction; the one with virtue will appreciate and increase but for the person of beauty, correction will only reveal the vanity under the beauty;
Psalms 39:11 “When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.”
Beauty is quite deceptive while virtue is full of grace. Virtue is the beauty of the Lord within man. The scripture warns us about how we relate with beauty;
Proverbs 6:24-26 “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”
When you put a crown (value) on the beauty, you might be decorating pride and future disappointment just as King Ahasuerus experienced. However, a crown on the head of a virtuous woman is praise to humanity and the husband cannot stop praising her, Proverbs31:10-31. Queen Vashti was beautiful but lacked royal manners and was ready to dishonor and disgrace the husband before his subjects. Beauty only feeds the physical eyes resulting into lust, but virtue meets needs and positively adds to life. Beauty fades away but virtue is a spiritual splendor that lasts a life time. You could find beauty only in the Old Testament, it has been replaced with VIRTUE in the New Testament. Virtue is the appealing power of the Holy Spirit; it heals, delivers and restores joy. Beauty goes with happiness which has expiry date and it’s on the outside, while virtue goes with joy and it is from the inside. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is the fullness of virtue, i.e. having divine nature in us, 2Pet1:4. Beauty stirs up enticement but joy stirs up real love. You can’t maintain a marriage or have a good home with beauty but virtue is the backbone of a joyous home because it is under the supervision of the Holy Spirit. Virtue is acquired through submission to teachings and trainings. So, you need a teachable spirit to acquire virtue. Natural food is what beauty needs to stay beautiful and it is for a while for it will age out, but spiritual food is what builds virtue and it grows into an outstanding grace; i.e. gets more adoring as it ages. The meaning of Esther is “Star”. By virtue, she acquired that name because she was loved by many.
Esther had that virtue and this made the king forget other beauties. She got it because she learnt from her senior cousin; she submitted to training. Even while she became the new queen, she still held unto home training;
Esther 2:20 “Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.” (NKJV)
VIRTUE IS THE CROWN (VALUE) OF A VIRTUOUS WIFE, Proverbs31:10-31(please take time to read).
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Esther4-6. Keep the fire burning and alive.
Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Pastor Supo Abayode
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries