After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. 2 Then the king’s young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. 3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. 4 And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.
ESTHER 2:1-4 ESV
When King Ahasuerus was angry with Vashti, his own wife’s refusal to appear at the banquet the drunken King was hosting, he consulted his wise men, resulting in the banishment of the Queen. And when his anger had abated, he remembered his divorced queen. Instead of looking for ways to reverse the decree against her, he found pleasure in the proposals from his close servants, which was to enlarge his harem by bringing in more beautiful young women. Was the King seeking honest, proper, and wise advice in both instances? Or was he only looking for ideas to agree with what he pleased? And while many wise men surrounded him, no one was bold enough to offer any counsel that counteracted the King’s desires.
We all have our blind spots, and hence we need guidance and wisdom from God.
How does the hidden God show us His advice and cultivate our growth in maturity and wisdom?
He gives us His word. As His word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path. (Psalm 119:105)
Besides giving us his word, He also sends His godly counsel by surrounding us with people who love us and would tell the truth even at the risk of being disliked. Just like this manga story, a brother shared recently –
A young man was to start a ramen challenge by eating one bowl of ramen a day for a month, and he would post his daily progress on Instagram. While some of his followers would follow his posts closely by giving “likes” and cheering him on to eat more, some merely wanted to see how far he could go with this challenge. But someone who loves him strongly would tell him,
“This is stupid, please stop!”
Sometimes, a godly counsel may sound blunt and harsh, but it is truth speaking out of love. It is for the sake of bringing on a better you.
Throughout the book of Esther, we can see the hidden God had placed a godly counsel near Esther, who was his cousin, Mordecai. Mordecai was there to remind her, support her, and keep her on the right path. So while the King sought after his desire and pleasure, Esther, keeping an open and obedient heart to Mordecai’s godly guidance, sought after the will of God.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.PROVERBS 27:5-6
Open and honest advice from a true friend may be unpleasant to the ear, but they are far better than kisses from an enemy.
Dear Lord, thank you for surrounding us with brothers and sisters, friends and family members who love us and would not be afraid to tell us when we are wrong and offer their honest advice. While these words may be hard to accept at once, help us keep an open heart and open mind to seek godly counsel and experience the blessing you sent through them.