Princesses…at a very young age many little girls are fascinated with princesses. The crown, the dresses, the glass slippers, the gloves are all so fun. The desire to be beautiful and special is strong. We recently were able to watch the combination of the princess and the wedding day. We enjoyed watching the royal wedding in our house and all the extras. We even watched a movie that showed the last 8 royal weddings. My girls were up at 5am on the big day so they could watch as much as possible. Maybe there is a little princess envy in all of us. So what is Real about princesses? How does the fairy tale life affect us? God has given us a princess book in the Bible, and we are going to look at her Real life.
Esther is the princess we are going to look at today. The story of Esther is fun because she came from nothing and became the queen. She was from a minority group that was hated. She was a young girl who had lost her family and was being raised by her cousin. I think, we all enjoy the stories of regular people who become someone great. This is Esther.
The story unfolds as King Xerxes who got rid of his queen when he was drunk and his pride was hurt, is looking for a new queen. So men appointed by the king in every province were to bring all the beautiful girls they could find to the king’s harem in Susa. One of the girls was Esther. The Bible says, “Esther, was lovely in form and features”. Esther was a beautiful woman. She caught the eye of those looking for a queen. Hegai, who was in charge of the girls who were brought to the king liked Esther. Esther 2:9 says, “The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately, he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.” I truly believe that Esther was not only beautiful on the outside…she was beautiful on the inside. Esther stood out. There is a verse in Proverbs 3 that says, “Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you. Wear them like a necklace. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with God and people.” Esther had favor. She was strikingly beautiful. She had character. She was kind. She was different than the others. At the end of chapter 2 it says that Esther had won favor of everyone who saw her.
She was very different from the others because she was a Jew. She knew God, but no one knew this at the time. Esther had a secret identity. Her cousin Mordecai had told her not to tell. But because Esther could hide the fact that she was a Jew meant she wasn’t following the laws of the Moses. She wasn’t following God too close. But Esther allowed God to use her in amazing ways. Many of the Jews weren’t following the laws anymore...they had learned to blend in –maybe too well. Many had forgotten about God, but God hadn’t forgotten about them.
I think most of us like a little pampering. Whether it’s a hair cut, manicure, pedicure…massage, we love a little beauty treatment. Can you imagine 12 months of beauty treatments? Sounds like fun…Sounds like something we could all use. That’s what Esther received. There was 6 months oil of myrrh and 6 months with perfumes and cosmetics. Finally the time came for her to go before the king, and the king said the same thing everyone else in the kingdom said. Esther won the king’s favor. He was attracted to her more than anyone else, and Esther became his queen. She won.
But unlike the story of Cinderella, the story doesn’t end there with “happily ever after”. So where did Esther find the strength to be queen? There were many steps in this path that took inner strength. Where did she find her security? She was raised by a great man, but it wasn’t her mom and dad. Her upbringing could have caused her to be insecure. She had a secret identity that would always be on her heart. It was a heavy secret. Esther couldn’t find her security in a crown, pretty dresses, the castle, or her king. She had to keep her security in her real KING.
But the easy “happily ever after” days didn’t last very long because like all fairy tales there was a bad guy. Haman is the bad guy, and he had a plan to annihilate all the Jews. His plan even had the king’s stamp of approval. When Esther’s cousin Mordecai told her Haman’s plan, he also urged her to go into the king’s presence and beg for mercy and plead for her people. The problem was the king hadn’t called her for 30 days, and no one…not even the queen was allowed to go into the king’s presence without being asked. If you did, you would die unless the king held out his scepter. Mordecai said in 4:13 and 14 says, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther has a lot to think about. That secret identity is going to be exposed if she goes before the king, and she knows she may die.
I heard a wise woman say once that as much as we want our daughters to be treated like a princess by the man of their dreams, we don’t want them to have a “princess mentality”. I’m sure this is what Mordecai wanted for Esther. Be a princess, but use it well…continue to find favor with God and others so you can do great things. We can all get caught in the “princess mentality” of that’s too much…too hard…too risky for me. I would never need to sacrifice that much, and I would never have to be that brave. Someone else will do it.
Esther does step-up…she calls a fast for the Jews, and then she says, “when this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish. I perish.” Joshua 1:9 says…do not be afraid. Do not be afraid is the most frequent command in the Bible. Interesting isn’t it…God knows our struggles. He knows we need strength to live the life he intended us to live. If we are going to accomplish what God has for us, we need to not fear. God doesn’t promise us an easy life. Our life has a purpose…we have to be brave.
If Christ is our Savior and our King, we are his daughters. We are the princesses. We have the princess privileges. Maybe you aren’t real big on fancy dresses and hats…maybe you’ve never thought much about being a princess. You are a princess. You are God’s princess. It’s possible you don’t feel like a princess…you don’t feel special or beautiful. You are! We are princesses who are not only loved by the King; we were created by Him. Esther found deep inner strength…strength that came from God. We have access to that kind-of of strength. I don’t think we always act like princesses who have access to the king. It might be because we don’t think about the fact that we are princesses.
And the Esther story really does end happily ever after because the bad guy was killed, the Jews were allowed to fight back. They were given the right to assemble and protect themselves. The new edict was read in the provinces, and the Jews celebrated. Esther 8:17 says,”…And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them”. Mordecai was second in rank to King Xerxes, and he worked for the good of his people.
What can we learn from this princess? What Real steps can we take?
First we have a beautiful girl on the outside…and inside, who won the favor of everyone she was around. How are you at winning favor? Do you wear loyalty and kindness like a necklace? Is it right out there for everyone to see? Is it a part of who you are? When we are in constant relationship struggles, we should probably look in and see if we have our necklace on…sometimes relationships are just hard, but we at times create problems when we don’t have are necklace on.
Next…do you ever feel like…I can’t. I can’t do that because I was born into the wrong family. I have too much baggage in my life. I’m not close enough to God. I’m the wrong person for the job. God won’t use me. When we feel this way, look at Esther. She had the wrong family. She should have been too insecure to accomplish saving the Jews. Esther loved God, but she wasn’t really following him like she should. She chose to blend in, but at the right time she stood up. God can use any of us. When I was in college, I had to do an interview with a missionary. She didn’t know me. She answered my questions, and she told me about her life. She told me how her children were all married, and they had each married people from homes where their parents had stayed together. She felt so blessed that God had given her children such great spouses. When I was done with the interview, I suddenly felt bad for my parents-in-law. Had they prayed their daughter-in-law would come from a family like that too? I was from a broken family. We all have stuff. God uses all of us…no matter what our story.
Last, don’t forget you are God’s princess. Go ahead and act like one. He made us. He loves us. Unlike Esther, we have constant access to the King, and He always wants us to come to him. God has a plan for all of us, and he wants to use us right where we are. Enjoy your relationship with him…