With Vashti removed from her duties, the search for Miss Persia began. Esther’s claim to fame was her beauty and her ability to please. It was a winning combination that took her a long way. Even a book of the Bible is written about her. If she were alive today, she’d be featured on covers of fashion magazines and hounded by the paparazzi wherever she went. Her face and form would define the standard for plastic surgery patients. Her hair and clothing would set fashion trends.
The ancient culture where she lived, like a lot of times and places (well, let’s be honest, most times and places), was a place where men noticed and valued a woman for her looks and her readiness to submit. In such a social climate, it was only a matter of time before Esther was discovered. She got lost in the beauty treatments, the perfumed oils, and in her studied, skillful efforts to comply with the wishes of the men in her life.
But life is full of unpredictable twists and turns – long lulls, disappointments, tragedies, and big breaks – that push us out of the shadows and force us to summon up courage, strength, and gifts we never knew we had. Esther’s beauty didn’t fade, or if it did, no one seemed to notice. Instead, other aspects of her character surfaced, showing the world and proving to Esther herself that she had serious responsibilities before God and a whole lot more to offer than beauty or compliance. When Esther faced the crisis of her life, the powers of face and form were not enough, and her ability to please actually stood in her way. The situation called for her to think and strategize, to exercise courage, to stand on her own two feet, and to rely solely upon ADONAI. That’s when Esther, long lost in her beauty, was finally found.18