Beauty = Submission and Holiness

You are beautiful!  Yes, you.  Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?  Can you not see the beauty that God has created before you?

Beauty is not just about the outward appearance.  Of course it is helpful to those looking at us to make sure we are neat and tidy and well dressed.  As we know true beauty comes from within. Today we are going to take a look at Esther and why she was considered beautiful.

At the beginning of Esther, Vashti was queen.  The king requested her presence after a banquet of his and she refused to come.  Now you may think what is the big deal.  After all, she has a right to say no.  She can do whatever she wants.  But what Vashti did was dishonourable.  She brought dishonour to the king and to herself.  The king was so upset about this, he did not just let her go as queen, he also sent out an edict to all households that husbands are the head of the household and should be respected as such.  This edict was not something new, maybe for the Persians, but for God’s people, husbands were considered the head of the household and women were to respect them and be submissive to them.

After all the commotion died down about the former Queen Vashti, the king looks for a new queen.  He asks all the young virgins to come and go through the process of beautification.  This process lasted a year before the woman could go in and see the king.  If the woman found favour with the king then he would see her again.  Esther won the favour of the head of the women, Hegai.  She received cosmetics from him, was promoted, given seven girls from the king’s palace to attend her and she was given the best place in the harem’s quarters.   The girls all had to go through a six month treatment of myrrh and oil and another six months with perfumes and cosmetics.  When the time came for the woman to be see the king, she had a choice of what was given her from the harem’s quarters.  When it was Esther’s turn, she only took what Hegai suggested.  The king liked Esther more than any of the other girls or wives.  He placed the crown on her head and made her queen.

Esther didn’t parade herself or flaunt her beauty.  Her beauty was in her heart, and she followed the Lord.  She was brought up by her uncle Mordecai who adopted her when she was a very young child.  She would have learnt the Torah and would have sought to live for the Lord.

There are several lessons that we can take from Esther about our own beauty.  Firstly, we are to be submissive.  Vashti brought dishonour to the king and therefore he made it clear to every household this was not acceptable for a wife.  A wife is to love her husband and be submissive to him.  Submissiveness simply acknowledges the husband as the head of the household and follows his lead.  A wife is to support her husband as the husband is supposed to love her.  Peter mentions submissiveness first before he gets into the woman’s character.  Submissiveness shows inner strength, self-control and makes the husband proud of his wife.  It helps to keep the tongue at bay especially where there is anger, it keeps the woman humble and it brings honour to the household.  I am not at all saying men should abuse their authority over their wives.  Wives are not to be doormats.  Women were made from the rib of the man not be under him but be beside him as one.

Our submission to our husbands is an example of how we as the church should be to Jesus.  We are to obey Him in everything and follow His Word.  This will bring Him and His kingdom honour.

From submission, we then see the characteristics of a holy woman.  She is a hidden person of the heart with a gentle and quiet spirit.  How do we possess this?  We need to be in a daily relationship with God.  We are to be cleansed from our sin and unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus.  Then we are to be clothed in His Spirit living daily for Him.  Sometimes this cleansing can be painful, but it is all worthwhile.  After Esther went through the beautification rituals, she was found with favour and was clothed in robes and a crown.  One day, we too, who love the Lord our God as our Saviour, will be clothed in robes of righteousness and wear the crown of eternal life.

A great example of someone who I can consider a beautiful woman is Mother Teresa.  She may not have had an appearance that the world sees as beautiful, but her spirit and love for people indeed made her more beautiful than any celebrity that I have seen.  She had the heart of Jesus.  She gave herself for others.  Her life was a life of holiness.  God doesn’t look at the outward appearance.  We are to live holy and pure lives; this is beautiful to God.

Our time with the Lord in prayer, studying His Word, living out our faith, gathering together as a body of believers, etc. helps us to be ready for His second coming.  Esther prepared herself for her visit with the King.  What are we doing to prepare ourselves for our King?  Esther took a year to prepare for one night with the king.  We are not sure when our time is coming or when Jesus will return.  Have we and are we continuing to submit our lives to the Lord? Are we being purified by His Holy Spirit?  Are we hidden in Christ, gentle and with a quiet spirit?

You are beautiful?  You are princesses and princes of the King of kings because we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!  His Spirit fills you, and His presence is with you.  As you walk in a daily relationship with Him, you are beautiful because you are becoming like Jesus. Know that you are precious to God, you are beautiful, and our King is waiting to see you.

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