For Such a Time as This
Before any of the young women were presented to the king, they had to spend an entire year being prepared physically. In other words, twelve months of beauty treatment; six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics (Esther 2:12). Even though they were chosen because they all possessed an inherent natural beauty, this was not enough for the king. He desired that they also be transformed into beautiful women of the palace, women upon whom there was no longer any lingering obvious evidence of the world they grew up in.
Now I was curious as to why six months was devoted entirely to being treated with oil of myrrh, so I did some research and found that oil of myrrh is said to possess some amazing qualities. When used externally, its antiseptic, anti-fungal, and astringent properties are supposed to help heal wounds, eliminate such things as athlete’s foot and ringworm, and help restore and smooth the skin. And if taken internally, it purportedly helps boost the immune system and promote general health. Therefore, it seems that the first six months were dedicated to healing and restoration.
[As a side note, I found it interesting that the most frequent use of the word “myrrh” in the Bible is found in Song of Solomon, a book that is an allegory of the intimate relationship that the Lord desires to have with His people. Is it possible that the more intimate we become with Him, the more we are healed and restored; and the more we are healed and restored, the more intimate we become with Him?]
The next six months, then, were dedicated to perfumes and cosmetics, thus eventually eliminating all aroma and appearance of the life they lived before coming to the palace. It was only then, after being transformed, that they were presented to the king.
I believe that if we are to fully experience all that God has for us in “such a time as this,” we must also be transformed! Being “saved” got us a ticket to heaven when we die, but we all know that that experience was not some sort of magic wand that instantly made us perfect in every way! Even though we were forgiven, made into a new creature in our spirit-man, and reconciled with God, there was still a lot of work to be done! Some of us quickly and eagerly embraced the transformation process, while others of us were more reluctant and had to be patiently convinced of our need for it or perhaps dragged kicking and screaming into it! Like it or not, we all need it, and God loves us enough to make sure we have every opportunity to get it. How, then, are we transformed; what is the process? I believe that it is much the same for us as it was for Esther, but it is a spiritual instead of a physical process.
The “oil of myrrh” treatment that we need is a change of mindset. Rom.12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” And how is our mind renewed? We find the answer to that in Ps.1:1-3 (NIV), “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
What causes most of our problems is stinkin thinkin! Every deliberate action we take is thought about first. Therefore, the way we think directly affects the way we act. And because of original sin, because of our own sin, because of our upbringing, because of our former lifestyle, and because of other factors; our way of thinking often produces wrong actions. It needs to be changed! And how is that accomplished? By spending a lot of time in the Word of God (the Bible), reading it and meditating upon it. That is the primary place where we can find healing and restoration for our souls.
Then the beautify treatment that we need following our healing and restoration comes from exposure to the glory of His presence. Because of the salvation that we have experienced, we have the ability to come boldly into His presence. Heb.10:19-22 tells us, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” And 1Cor.3:13-18 (NIV) says, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” What could be more beautiful than becoming more like Jesus? And the more time we spend in His presence, the more we become like Him, thus being made presentable to the King!