15 When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. Esther 2:15
Esther had been chosen to be one of the many women in the king’s harem; the harem from which he would select his next queen. Therefore she had at her disposal anything, anything, she wanted in order to make herself more appealing to King Ahasuerus. Jewelry, clothing, perfumes, food and drink – no request denied; no limits set.
Yet as Swindoll writes: “She does not succumb to the temptation around her – the superficiality, the selfishness, the seduction, the self-centeredness. She displays an unselfish modesty, an authenticity, amid unparalleled extravagance.”
And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
Just imagine how easy it would have been for this young woman to have become wrapped up in and swallowed by the harem culture of overindulgence; how easy for this poor displaced Jewish girl to relish in this new lavish lifestyle and forget her purpose.
Esther was surely a woman of strength!