Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.
Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. . . .
Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.
Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. (Esther 2:10-13, 15-17)
The story of Esther seems like the ultimate Cinderella story: A beautiful young woman catches the eye of a king, who makes her his wife. Yet this Cinderella story has a darker twist. God placed Esther on the throne just before the Jews faced the possibility of complete destruction (Esther 3:5–4:17). In the day of trouble, she would already be in a position to help.
Persian kings collected great numbers of women. If rejected, Esther would be one of many girls the king had seen once and forgotten. But Esther’s presence and beauty pleased the king enough that he crowned her queen in place of Vashti. The queen held a more influential position than a concubine, and she was given more freedom and authority than others in the harem. But even as queen, Esther had few rights—especially because she had been chosen to replace a woman who had become too assertive.
If you are changing jobs, position, or location and can’t see God’s purpose in your situation, understand that he is still in control. He may be placing you in a position so you can help when the need arises.