2009 – Day 188.July 8 – Modesty and Authenticity
Passage of the Day: Esther 2: 12 – 14; … 20 … 12 Before a girl's turn came to go in 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. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name. … 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai's instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
My Journal for Today: Well, in today’s story segment about our heroine, Esther, our devotional shepherd, Chuck Swindoll emphasizes two character traits which Esther exhibited which are models of our own desire to be more like our Lord.
First, Esther was modest [or meekness]. Here she was being pampered and prepared for the King, somehow chosen from thousands of women in the Persian kingdom to go before King Xerxes and see if she had the “stuff of a queen.” And the pampering of the candidates went on for a full year. Yet in the end when Esther was paraded before the King, she had a different attitude than the other candidates. The latter candidates wanted desperately to win; but Esther remained true to her self and to her heritage and she exhibited the power under control which is modesty or meekness.
She had been raised by Mordecai to be a daughter of the covenant and to quietly trust in the only God to whom she would serve. Yes, she honored the wishes and requests of the earthly king; but her primary modesty came from a quiet confidence in the covenant of God. And though, at Mordecai’s instruction, she didn’t tout it, Esther had been raised to be a daughter of THE KING of kings; and she would remain true to that in spite of all the temptations of worldly externals.
Secondly, Esther was the real-deal, … authentic to the core of her being; and therefore exuding humility. She knew her God would watch over her; and she was the only candidate for the role of Queen who didn’t aspire to be queen. She was already, in her own mind, a child of the real KING. And it was that confidence and authenticity which is likely the very quality, implanted into Esther by God, to which King Xerxes responded and ultimately selected her to be his Queen.
In this little study I see two Christlike qualities on display in Esther. First was her modesty (which could also be described as meekness: i.e., power under control); and the second was authenticity (which could also be described as the self-confidence which comes from true humility). And I’ve learned from past study and experience that these qualities are the only two attitude qualities Christ ever used to describe Himself.
Check it out in Matt. 11: 29 - linked in context here, when Jesus was instructing His followers to come to Him when they were burdened. He said, [and I paraphrase], “I am humble and meek.” And this, my dear one is the picture presented by Esther as she was to be paraded before the King of Persia.
So, the question arises by this study, “Am I modest and authentic?” Or the parallel question as to my Christlikeness would be, “Am I meek and humble?” I will have to answer to that, being in accountability before God; and likewise you will have to answer those questions if, you, as a Christian, aspire to be like Christ. God’s word commands us to have an attitude like Christ (see Phil. 2: 5 - linked); and I must say that I’ve got some growing to do to be like our young heroine, Esther, or most certainly to be like my Lord, and Savior, Jesus.
My Prayer for Today: Help me grow, Lord, to be like Esther and to ultimately be like You. Amen