So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered... that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women... and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
Now when the turn came for Esther... to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
After a year of preparation for the royal beauty competition, each young woman chose one prize to keep. For all but the winner, it would become a consolation prize: perhaps a precious jewel from the king's own collection. Think of the wealth and the show. Most girls love to sparkle.
Even so, Esther requested nothing but the advice of her pageant organizer. She sought his wisdom, and she gained his favor: 'For wisdom is better than jewels' (Proverbs 8:11). Consider God's promise to each of His children:
'If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him' (James 1:5). As an extra-value bonus added to the package of wisdom, He gives us so much more. Example: Solomon.
Solomon's thoughts on the matter? 'The one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper' (Proverbs 19:8). 'Wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors' (Ecclesiastes 7:12); 'Wisdom has the advantage of giving success' (Ecclesiastes 10:10); 'Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off' (Proverbs 24:14).
Notice also the connection between wisdom, fame and favor. As they connected for the girl who would become queen, so they connected for the Boy Who would become King, as in Jesus. 'And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men' (Luke 2:52).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'Get wisdom, get understanding' (Proverbs 4:5). The enemy would like you to think your talent alone is enough to succeed--because ignorance and innocence increase your chances to fail. But he's wrong, and God is right. So remember:
1) Without God, nothing is enough, and your talent doesn't belong to you anyway.
2) God's success stories trained long and hard for their starring roles. Consider Esther, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel and Jesus.
3) Listen to your worldly advisors: coaches, agents and managers. Listen even more to God: His Word, His Son and His Holy Spirit. 'Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves' (Matthew 10:16).
4) Don't chase after visible prizes and possessions. Instead, chase after the invisible God--and His wisdom! 'The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy' (James 3:17).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.