Forty women: 38. Esther

God loves beauty. God has, after all, made everything beautiful in its time. He’s made beautiful sunsets and beautiful mathematics and beautiful music. Because he loves to look on his beautiful creation which reflects his own beauty.

And he’s made beautiful people. And, let me be clear, not just people with the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, though that is beautiful, too. He’s made people with beautiful eyes and beautiful hair, with beautiful smiles and beautiful figures. That outer beauty is not something to be sneered at or disdained. It’s something to be delighted in and celebrated by us, just as it is by God.

God made Esther very beautiful indeed: “This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” (Esther 2:7). She was beautiful enough to win the Miss Persian Empire beauty contest circa 482 BC.

She was beautiful in herself, but she also spent 12 months becoming even more beautiful: “Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” (Esther 2:12) Beauty was a serious business back then, just as it is now.

God made Esther very beautiful in order that she would have the opportunity to enter the palace, to win the ear of the king, and thus to save the Jewish people in exile. Beauty was not the only quality that Esther needed: she showed courage, wisdom, faith and loyalty as well. But without her beauty, she would not have had the chance to show any of those other qualities.

When God made Esther ‘for such a time as this’, he made her beautiful enough ‘for such a time as this.’ (Esther 4:14).

God has made you beautiful, too. You are beautiful enough that he delights to look on you. You are beautiful enough to be able to fulfil his plans for you.

So, celebrate your God-given beauty, delight in it. Seek an outer beauty which honours the beauty of God’s glorious creation, and reflects the inner beauty of your spirit, so that, both outwardly and inwardly, you will display the beauty of God himself.