From Peasant To Princess: What a Difference a Day Makes
- Tommy Tenney
- 2003 29 Sep
Divine secrets of transformation await you in this life-and-death saga from Esther's pre-Islamic Persia. It is here that God uses the most unlikely of heroes to save His people from genocide at the hands of a powerful and highly placed madman named Haman. Not only did God use unlikely heroes-but He also used unlikely weapons!
How does this story from the antiquity of ancient Iraq apply to us today? If it was a mere children's story, it wouldn't apply at all. But it isn't. This story has the feel of a fairy tale!
Hidden among the secrets of palace protocol is an encoded portrayal of Bible purpose-access to God's presence. The book of Esther literally contains a spiritual roadmap to God! We cannot afford to shrug off this story as something we heard about in church decades ago or dismiss it as some "irrelevant Old Testament book."
God reveals through Esther's life just how He worked through one young woman to save the Jewish people from total annihilation by an impossibly powerful leader. Esther's story reveals eternal wisdom about your own future and destiny!
Most little girls I've known have dreamed of becoming a princess (most young boys secretly dream of being a king too). The "princess and king" dream lives on into adulthood for most of us. Why else would the contemporary world be so captivated by the storybook wedding of Princess Diana to Prince Charles years ago?
An estimated 750 million people in seventy-four countries dropped what they were doing and crowded around television sets to watch the ceremony of the first English woman to marry an heir to the British throne in over three hundred years. Every eye followed Lady Diana as she walked down the aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral in a royal procession to meet Prince Charles. In the words of the archbishop of Canterbury, "Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made."
Otherwise happy and contented women around the globe suddenly felt the familiar pangs of their childhood, longing to be a "princess bride" once again. Very few modern nations or cultures continue to have royalty or princesses, but little girls still dream of one day being a princess bride, and little boys still imagine becoming a king.
Is it any accident that the dream of a "princess bride" is so persistent even in contemporary societies, generations after true earthly royalty became rare?
Could it be that our Creator planted this dream deep inside our hearts as a hidden seed, an eternal dream waiting to be fulfilled at just the right time? This dream has divine destiny at its core.
Authors, playwrights, and poets in virtually every culture since the beginning of human history have dabbled with the theme of commoners morphing into royalty at the whim of a king. Hans Christian Andersen penned his renowned children's story "The Ugly Duckling," describing the miraculous transformation of an "ugly duckling" into what it was always intended to be, a beautiful swan.
How many of us can still recite the theme and story line of Cinderella's transformation from lowly youngest sister to queen of the land?
Proof of the multigenerational intrigue of the fairy-tale stories is founded on the fact that accounts like this continue to be bestsellers. It is amazing that such an ancient theme would have such enduring interest-whether in the form of Cinderella, King Arthur, or the contemporary Broadway production of The King and I.
The sensational elevation of a common person into royalty ignites the dreams of potential in every one of us.
Our Fascination With Elevation Is A God Thing
Perhaps the most intriguing of these fairy-tale transformations is found in the biblical account of Esther. In fact, the story of Esther is far more ancient and powerful than any of the more recent transformation tales.
It is the true story of a young Jewish peasant girl who is herded through the back door of a Persian king's palace and wins his heart to become queen against all odds and save her nation. The biblical account of Esther has convinced me that our lifelong fascination with transformation through love and choice is a "God thing."
The Potential Of Promotion
Again, God reveals through Esther's life just how He worked through one young woman to save the Jewish people from total annihilation by an incredibly powerful leader. Esther's story reveals eternal wisdom about our own future and destiny!
How will people of destiny be transformed from their "peasant" state into a royal bride without spot or wrinkle? Perhaps the answer may be found in pursuing a second question: How could a mere peasant's passion for the king transform her into a princess?
The answers to both questions are hidden in the book of Esther. If we are to be the bride of the King, perhaps we should take some notes from Esther's rags-to-riches, pauper-to-princess miracle.
Most of us want to be more and live better than we do at the moment. Many of us live with the knowledge that we claim royal rank, but we act like someone more at home in the common surroundings of the world. People often have a hard time seeing any differences between us and those who make no claim to know God.
The genius of the book of Esther is its revelation of the way God overcomes human weakness and failure to elevate our position and rank all the way to His throne room. Esther gazed into the king's eyes, captured his heart, and found his favor. Then she was transported from the hall of women to the house of the king as his queen.
Was It Esther's Beauty, Her Secret, Or Both?
So why was a peasant girl from a nation in exile chosen as queen by a powerful Persian king? Why did Xerxes pass over as many as 1,459 other candidates from other nations and Persia's own 127 province-nations to select Esther? Was it just because of her beauty, or did she know a secret?
Could it be that God orchestrated Esther's life to reveal what can happen at a divine intersection where potential meets protocol? Who knows what can happen in your life when preparation intersects with protocol and destiny is birthed?
According to rabbinic tradition, Esther was one of the four most beautiful Jewish women of all time (the others were Sarah, Rahab, and Abigail). King Xerxes had unlimited access to the most beautiful women in the world, and his extensive harem system was proof of it.
It would take more than outward beauty or sensual appeal to captivate such a man. Xerxes could have had Esther remain a concubine or secondary wife, yet there was something about her that enticed commitment from him.
Persian kings generally selected their queens from Persian royal families, and hopefully from the families of the king's top seven advisors.They could have as many secondary wives or concubines as they wanted, with no restrictions on their nationality or religion, because the offspring from these secondary wives had no right to ascend to the throne.
Esther was an outsider, born not of nobility but of an exiled people! She had none of these things going for her, but somehow she won the heart and then the ear of the king in spite of Persian prejudices and traditions.Have you ever felt like an outsider? What was Esther's secret? If she was chosen, so can you be chosen!
Excerpted from: Finding Favor with the King by Tommy Tenney. Copyright (c) 2003, Tommy Tenney (ISBN 0764227351, 0764228609) Published by Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
About the author: Tommy Tenney is the founder of the GodChasers network and the author of the multimillion-selling The God Chasers series, including God’s Favorite House, The God Catchers, and The Prayers of a God Chaser, a 2003 Gold Medallion finalist. Tenney’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages. He spent 10 years as a pastor and more recently over 20 years in itinerant ministry. He and his wife, Jeannie, have three daughters and reside in Louisiana.