June 1, 2016 kicked started the 10 Days #EstherBibleChallenge. The challenge is to intentionally created time to read and meditate on one chapter of Esther a day to see what the Holy Spirit will reveal and teach. It’s important to keep a journal as you study so that you can write down the things you are learning. In addition, keeping a journal forces you to slow down and truly ponder the Word of God. Today I’ll be sharing parts of what the Holy Spirit taught me during my personal study time. I invite you all to please share what you learn in the comments or with someone because you never know who needs that word. Thank you to everyone participating and if you found out late, you can still join and finish a few days after the rest. It’s never too late!
Day 1: Esther Chapter 1
- Beauty may get you the crown, but character will sustain you in the position.
Queen Vashti was extremely beautiful, even beautiful to the point that King Ahasuerus took pride in her and wanted ” to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown in order to show her beauty to people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold.” (Esther 1:11) He showed off her beauty in front of his friends as a way of boasting that he had the most beautiful women in the kingdom; however, the same Queen Vashti who was beautiful enough to be paraded in front of high officials was not good enough for other women to emulate. They praised her beauty, but were disgusted by her character and did not want “noble women” to be wrongly influenced by her behavior (Esther 1:18). The fact that they were concerned about noble women being influenced by the pride of Queen Vashti indicates that while beauty was sought after and even praised, what matters most is a woman who is noble. Being a noble woman has nothing to do with outwards appearance, but everything to do with having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals. It is those high moral principles and character that will ensure that we remain Queens. Queen Vashti’s beauty was not enough and therefore they went on a search to replace her and to “give her position to another who is better than she” (Esther 1:19). In a world of beautiful women, the distinguishing factor is God. Truly as the Word of God has spoken, “charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
- Lord mold me into a woman that is worth emulating.
- Lord humble me and restore me to any position I’ve lost because of my pride.
- In my position of honor, keep me from anything that will cause disgrace.
- Instill Your fear in me. Distinguish me with Your presence.
2. My King’s Advisers
King Ahasuerus was a flashy king who loved to show off his possessions and wealth, however, he did not make rash decisions in his anger. He had a council of advisers who he turned to for guidance when Queen Vashti openly disgraced his authority. The Bible described his advisers as ” the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king’s manner toward all who knew law and justice)” (Esther 1:13). Furthermore, his advisers were described as “those closest to him”, “those who had access to the king’s presence”, and “those who ranked highest in the kingdom” (Esther 1:14). This leads to an important lesson: who is advising my king? The Bible warns, “be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). In his anger, King Ahasuerus did not just punish Queen Vashti, but he sought men who understand the times and men who knew the laws and the ways of justice in order to not do something unlawful. The way a man handles his anger and who he turns to for advice reveal a lot about the man and his values. It is important that we pray for the men in our lives and their advisers even if we do not have a husband yet. The Bible says that bad company corrupts good character ( 1 Corinthians 15:33) and we see that those who advised King Ahasuerus where those who had access to his presence and those closest to him so the question remains, who has access to my husband’s presence and his ears? Start praying over your husband and the company he keeps and pray that before his seeks counsel from friends, he will first inquire of the Lord. The advice of the king’s friends determined what happened to Queen Vashti, therefore whoever is advising your king, has influence over what happens to you.
- Lord teach my husband/future husband to master his emotions including anger.
- Lord let my husband/future husband run to You first for counsel.
- Heavenly Father remove any bad company my husband/future husband has and surround him with godly men who will push him closer to you.
- Give my husband/future husband wisdom and let him lead our home with justice.