Dear Glorious Bride of our Lord Jesus, following on from yesterday Bridal Word for the Day
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the sceptre. Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.” Est 5:1-3
What an amazing and totally unexpected outcome Esther encountered that day, as she had made spiritual and physical preparation to go before the King, not knowing whether she would live or die, but neither being prepared to remain silent over the plight of her people, she had risen to the demands that love, justice and righteousness had made, and stood before the King. The bible says, that the King was pleased with her and held out the gold sceptre to her, and then the invitation “What is your request? Even up to half the Kingdom, it will be given you”.
This offer for up to half the Kingdom, is only found twice in the Bible, the other occurrence of this offer, is found in Mark 6:17 – 28. In that particular account is when Herod had imprisoned John the Baptist because he was speaking out against the unlawful relationship that Herod was having with his brother’s wife. And the story reads …
Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
The point here is noting the differences in these two accounts between Esther standing humbly before the King dressed in royal robes, and that of Herodias’ daughter dancing before King Herod. In both cases the Kings were so pleased as to offer half their kingdom, but with Esther was lawfulness (as the queen) and propriety, but with Herodias’ daughter the situation was unlawful (as John the Baptist had been warning) and indecent. Furthermore, the motivation for Esther was for the benefit of her own people, whilst the motivation of Herodias’ daughter was the death of John the Baptist (Matt 14:8 KJV). Finally, note that the Bible names Esther, whereas the daughter of Herodias is unnamed.
Here is a principle for us. As with Herod, he was acting unlawfully in the area of the Bride, and he didn’t want to hear want was the Lord had to say about it. And so the Bible says, “When the opportune time came”. (We will always find a way to get what we want, but at what cost?) Herod silenced the voice of the prophet, but the history books tell how tragic life became for Herod. On the other hand, though she was offered half the Kingdom, Esther didn’t use her Bridal position for personal gain or agenda. The Bride is not distracted by the Kingdom!! She keeps her eyes firmly fixed upon the King. She knows that there is no Kingdom without the King. Stay true to the Lord. Though you may be tempted by the Kingdom, do not step outside the bridal chamber. Yield to Him. He is leading you somewhere beautiful. Maranatha.