King Xerxes is preparing to select a new queen to replace the former queen, Vashti.
Esther 2:12 “Before a girl’s turn came to go to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.”
During this year of special beauty treatments, they all enjoyed the comfort and luxury of his palace and the extravagance of his food, his wealth and his lifestyle. All of their needs were being provided. They’ve always heard so much about him, but they’ve never actually met him.
Can you relate to this at all?
Ever since we asked Jesus to come into our hearts, we’ve enjoyed all the benefits and blessings of His Kingdom. We’ve heard so much about Him. We’ve been told how wonderful He is and how much He loves us and wants to be with us. We’ve heard so much about Him, but we’ve never really met Him – face to face
Esther 2:13-14 “And this is how she would go to the king. Anything she wanted was given her to take with her…to the king’s palace…She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.”
King Xerxes didn’t like ugly women. Even though they were all beautiful women to begin with, no woman was beautiful enough to stand in the presence of the king. No woman was beautiful enough, by birth or by her own efforts, to satisfy the king. Regardless of what she looked like before she got started, even if she had always been considered to be grossly unattractive, after Hegai was finished with her, she would be extraordinarily beautiful when the time came to meet the king.
God’s “eyes are too pure, (too holy) to look at evil.” (Habakkuk 1:13)
God can’t stand to look at ugliness either; the ugliness of sin, that is. No matter how good or how beautiful we think we are; regardless of how good we try to be or how beautiful we try to make ourselves, no one is good enough; no one is beautiful enough to stand in the presence of a pure and holy God. All sin, even just one sin, is ugly and repulsive to God. Because we all have sinned, we all appear ugly and repulsive in God’s holy eyes.
Jesus refuses to marry an ugly Bride. If we want to please the king; if we want to be His Bride, we have to accept His invitation to come to His Palace; come into His House on a regular basis with the rest of the family and be willing to undergo an extensive series of beauty treatments, theologically referred to as Sanctification.
Every time we pray together; every time we do what His Word tells us to do; every time we praise Him, especially during our trials; every time we gather to worship Him; every time we witness and tell someone else about Him; every time we repent of sin and ask Him to forgive us; every time we decide to trust Him, even when we’re afraid or when He’s not doing what want or expect Him to do; every time we endure a trial and our faith is tested, we become more beautiful to God and we are looking more and more like Jesus.
Through all the things that are happening to us; we’re being prepared; we’re being transformed into the likeness of; we are being made to look as beautiful as – Jesus. The Christian life is a series of one beauty treatment after another; preparing us for the day we stand in the presence of our King and finally get to meet Him face to face.
“…Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless,”
(Ephesians 5: 25b-27)
A beautiful Bride; a radiant Bride; without any stains, wrinkles or blemishes; holy, clean and blameless when she finally meets the Groom.
Esther 2:15-17 “When the time came for Esther…to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai…suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to king Xerxes…Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
The day has arrived. The new Queen has been chosen and the bride is ready.
Esther 2:18 “And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all the nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.”
The King prepared a feast and declared a holiday. It is a great and glorious wedding celebration.
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting” ’HALLELUJAH! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteousness of the saints.) Then the angel said to me ‘Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’” (Revelation 19: 6-9)
Jesus is the Lamb; the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world and the Church is His Bride. So far we’ve seen how the Bride is chosen and we’ve seen what the Bride has to go through to stand in the presence of the Groom. But we’re about to find out how the Bride is supposed to act. What are her duties, her responsibilities in the Kingdom? Is she just beautiful to look at or does she actually have a purpose? What’s the purpose of the Church and what’s my purpose in the Church?
Come back next Tuesday and meet with Pasto Buj as the Holy Spirit continues to reveal and teach us new lessons from God’s Word