Esther 2:1-14, Proverbs 31:10-31
God sees us as we truly are. Because we are made in His image, we all have inherent value and dignity. This is where our true worth comes from.
We live in a culture that cares more about superficial, surface-level beauty, and putting on a front for others, than it does for truth and authenticity. You might not be surprised to know that this has existed throughout human history. Ever since Adam and Eve traded their perfect relationship with God in order to try to be something else (Genesis 3), we have never been happy with our own identities in our Creator God.
In today’s passage, we see this working itself out in King Ahasuerus. He treats women like possessions, and because he’s king he can have whatever he pleases. When we meet this king, he is not a decent man. He is concerned only about himself and his reputation. He treats people as property for his own pleasure. He has no interest in leading his nation to worship and glorify the Lord.
King Ahasuerus is consumed with superficiality. We see this in the way he goes about choosing a new queen. The criterion for becoming his queen is built entirely on physical beauty, so much so that the king makes sure the women being groomed for his court are receiving extensive beauty treatments.
Esther was not technically in line to become queen because of her ethnicity. However, she obviously stood out in the crowd, gaining “favor in the eyes of everyone who saw her” (Esther 2:15). Initially, this had a lot to do with how she looked. But she had so much more than superficial beauty. As we read further we see she also had wisdom, compassion, and courage. The king did not see these things in her at first. But they were there, and he would see them soon.
The problem with living in a superficial culture is that we fail to see below the surface to the truth. Regardless of whether our lives look perfect to the world, or if we stand out in the crowd like Esther did, we are all valued children of God. We gain favor in God’s eyes simply by being His image bearers (Genesis 1:26).
Our true King sees us as we really are, regardless of our outer beauty. Jesus Christ, the Man of Sorrows who was despised and rejected and who had no splendor about Him (Isaiah 53), has shown us our worth by how He has redeemed us. He did not look for our outer beauty and then choose to love us based on how beautiful we appeared. Instead, He saw our sinful hearts and chose to lay down His own life in order to make us co-heirs of the enduring kingdom of God (Romans 8:16-17).
Praise God that our King is nothing like Ahasuerus, and we don’t need to have the splendor of Esther to be noticed and valued by Him.
Written by Brandon D. Smith