The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come… Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:1,7)
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:13)
Relate: At the height of the nation’s political power, the Persian king was ruling over fifty million people. When you look at the global population of that time, this guy was ruling over forty percent of the world. The most powerful woman of that time would have been his queen, Vashti, but she ran afoul of her husband and was deposed. Of course this meant that someone else needed to step into her position and inherit her power. How would the misogynist culture of that time select a new queen? Well…
I will hold on to my man card by saying that I have never really watched a beauty pageant. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I do have vague memories of sitting by the TV while my sister was watching. Go ahead. clip a corner. I’ll try to watch the Matrix or the Godfather later on this week to get myself back on track. Anyways, I am sure the snippets of the Miss America, or Miss Universe, or whatever Miss whoever that I barely remember was awfully similar, given the distance of time and culture, to what went on in the selection of the new queen of Persia.
Let’s be honest. Once someone reaches that “very beautiful” stage, it is all the same. What are your preferences? Do you like blondes or brunettes? Do you like tall or short? Do you like super skinny or buxom? At some point it all comes down to such preferences because for all practical purposes it is impossible to tell apart one ridiculously beautiful (and plastic) face from another outside of these personal preferences. So of course, if it was a Miss America pageant I would have been rooting for New York. If it was Miss World I would probably root for one of the North African nations. I know what attracts me. If I was watching in a room with a hundred other random people, I am sure at least fifty different countries would have had someone there rooting for them. Beauty at that level is all completely arbitrary.
Getting back on track with the story I started from the book of Esther, there is a beauty pageant going on for the king of Persia. These girls are all prettied up as good as you can get. They’re all beautiful. They are all being given the best hair, makeup, and fashionable clothes that the most powerful man in the world at that time can buy. Then it says that Esther, a minority orphan girl who happened to be one of the contestants “won the favor of everyone who saw her.” Everyone. That doesn’t happen in beauty pageants. It is not possible. There was something supernatural going on here.
React: Each and every one of us is given natural gifts and talents. Mine and Esther’s are clearly not the same. No matter how much I look at my face in the mirror and try to convince myself that I am the most handsome man in the world, nobody else seems to agree with me. Not even my mom. (I have three brothers and they’re all younger, taller, with better tans, and with more hair on their heads) Oh well. It doesn’t matter how abundant our gifts or how devoted we are to sharpening our talents, they are not enough. There will always be someone else with just as much and beyond a certain level, it is the intangibles that will come into play.
That is where Christians have a leg up. God is the ultimate intangible. When our talents and gifts are moving in the same direction as God’s will and anointing, we are unstoppable. What is His will and for what purpose does He give His anointing? To proclaim good news to the poor, comfort for the brokenhearted, release for the captives, freedom for the prisoners and and blessing for those who mourn. Ultimately Esther won her beauty pageant so that she might be queen when her people, an oppressed minority, needed rescuing. God positioned her in just the right place to maximize her gifts. When we use our gifts and talents for our own selfish purposes, they are wasted. When we use our talents to bring spiritual and social justice to our word we are unstoppable.
God, first of all I want to thank You again for the gifts and the talents You have given me. Help me to live a disciplined life that I might sharpen and develop them more and more. Like Esther, I ask that You position me so that they might be maximized. I want to be a chain breaker. I want to be a world changer. Through You, I know that it can happen and even that it is happening. Show me how.