December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. . . . Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai. . . . She pleased him and won his favor.”—Esther 2:7–8 (NIV)
Our story continues, and it takes a most important turn at this juncture. We were just introduced to a Jewish refugee named Esther as the king is scouring his kingdom to select the most beautiful woman to become his new queen. And given Esther’s exceptional beauty, she’s brought in as a prospective candidate.
As Esther is brought in to the royal palace to prepare for her presentation to the king, she’s placed under the watch of the man in charge of the whole process: Hegai. We’re told that Esther stood out to him and gained his “favor.” Eventually, Esther’s turn came and this is what we read: “When the turn 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” (Esther 2:15 NIV).
Notice what happens here as Esther is introduced to the larger audience surrounding the king: Everyone who saw her was deeply impressed. In fact, we see the word “favor” used once again. Esther continued to win the favor of others—and this pattern continues when it comes to the one person who really matters most: “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval. . . . So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen” (Esther 2:17 NIV).
Again, for the third time, we see Esther was favored—this time by the king, himself! And as a result of this favor, she was chosen to be crowned as queen. It’s an amazing “rags to riches” story, isn’t it? An exiled woman of a dispossessed people rises to the highest place of prominence possible, the queen of the kingdom!
But let’s not forget that reoccurring word, “favor;” and let’s pay close attention to what it represents. When we consider favor, we have to recognize that it also implies a personal prerogative. It’s not luck or chance, but something deliberately and purposefully bestowed by another. We know that “another” to be God. He’s the one in sovereign control of all things, including the way others see and receive us. He has the ability to bestow favor, to make someone stand out from a crowd, and to be perceived in a special way just as He did in the case of Esther.
Yet, He’s also sovereignly guiding and directing His ultimate purpose into action. The Lord has a plan, He will see it fulfilled, and He uses favor in order to accomplish it! You see, Esther’s favor isn’t just for herself. We’re going to see that it’s for many others—an entire nation that factored into God’s eternal purposes. And to further His plan for them, He uses favor to position Esther right where she will need to be.
Know this, God works the same way in your life, too. He has a special plan to use you, and He will use this supernatural gift of favor to further it along. A door may swing wide open against all odds, you may hit it off with someone you typically wouldn’t, or you may find yourself in a situation where you can do no wrong. That’s God’s favor on your life, and it’s not just for you, but for the greater purpose He has to use your life to impact the lives of others!
Pause: What’s the relationship between Esther’s favor and her purpose?
Practice: Write down the areas in which you see God’s favor on your life and reflect on how that might indicate His plan for you.
Pray: Lord, we thank You for having a purpose for our lives. Open our eyes so we can see where You might be favoring us so we can move forward in the path You’ve prepared for us. Let us also remember that our lives are not just for ourselves, but that You bless us so others can be blessed. Keep us watchful of Your ways and humble in our hearts. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.