Saturday, February 27, 2016

Esther-One Year of Preparation

By Mary Vee
Esther 2

From Esther's Journal

My name is Hadassah. I am also called Esther. 

Shortly after I arrived in the women's quarters of the king's palace, the king's servant, Hegai, gave me seven handmaids and showed me to my room.

It was a beautiful room, large, and with exquisite decorations. The handmaids fussed about every day, giving me baths, rubbing special oils into my skin, serving delicious foods that I had never seen before, and working with my hair. 

I did all that I was told, but felt a bit awkward. I had been a helper for my uncle, caring for his needs as long as I could remember. Here in the women's quarters, I was told to rest and allow the handmaids to prepare me for my visit to the king.

Mordecai sent messages to me through the servants. He wished me well and told me he prayed everyday. I looked from my window out at the gate and saw him. He continued to care for his business while watching out for me. I am so blessed.

The year was almost at an end. I had six months of oil of myrrh treatments and six months with perfume treatments. I didn't know when I would be called to go before the king. I knew I wasn't first, though. 

Hegai stood before the crowd of women and said, "You may take whatever you wish from the women's quarters with you when you go before the king.

One by one the young women were called to go to the king. When she returned, she was taken to a different building for the women and placed under the care of Shaashgaz, a servant of the king. She would not return unless the king called her by name.

One night, Hegai came to me. He said, "Esther, the time has come for you to go before the king. What would you like to take with you?"

I looked around the room and tried to imagine how my uncle would want me to answer. My words needed to show respect and honor to God. I turned to Hegai and said, "I ask for nothing but what you, Hegai, the king's servant, the custodian of the women, advises."

The other women stopped chattering and looked at me with great respect in their eyes. Hegai did the same. Hegai chose a necklace for me. "I recommend you take this." He called one of my handmaids over to put the necklace on me. 

"Are you ready?" He asked.

"Yes." I followed him to the door. 

So, in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of the king's rein, I walked with the servants to the King's palace room. 

...come back next time to read what happened next.

sources: New International Version, New King James Version  

1. What preparations were given to Esther over the year?
2. Who kept an eye on Esther from a distance?
3. After visiting the king, none of the women could return unless he __________
4. What could the women take with them to the King's palace room?
5. What did Esther choose to take?

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