Your Queen Esther Diet Redemption Devotional
The Price of The Bride
Villagers stopped and whispered as the two men and the boy walked the road to Esther’s fathers home; on their way to accept the “price of the bride”. Ahasuerus could have any girl in the village, why would he choose Esther?
Even Ahasuerus’s father wanted to be sure, ”son they ask a very high price for Esther, are you sure you want to commit yourself to this girl? She may not be as productive as some of the other girls in the village, after all”, Ahasuerus did not hesitate, “yes it is a high price father, but Esther is worth it, and I would gladly pay more. Esther is the one for me.”
The Price of the Bride
This was not a way for fathers to sell their daughters for profit, it was actually a way to provide for them. The bride’s family would take the payment made and use it to purchase valuable coins and jewels which were then sewn into the wedding veil and garments. Jewish custom dictated that the bride’s clothing always belonged to her. The wedding garments, which contained “price of the bride” provided a financial back up plan for the bride in the case of divorce or tragedy.
Esther’s father knew Esther would need extra help if such a horrible circumstance were to happen; she could not do the hard work a widow or divorced woman would have to do to support herself. To be sure Esther was provided for, her father set the “price of the bride” unusually high.
Ahasuerus must give the equivalent of three years income to marry Esther. In addition Ahasuerus’s father would guarantee Esther would always have a dwelling suitable for a member of his household and her needs would be provided, even if the marriage ended in divorce or Ahasuerus’s death.
Esther would work very hard for the next few years to earn “The Price of The Bride”. It would take another year to prepare the bridal chamber in his father’s house. Once the marriage supper was over Ahasuerus and Esther would build their own dwelling on his father’s property.
Esther’s heart raced as her father told her the news. “I have reached an agreement with Ahasuerus’s father. You will be his wife. He is paying a very high price for you, I required it to be sure you are well provided for. We will complete the “Ketubah”, or “marriage covenant contract” next week. You must be sure you are willing to honor him as your husband, for he is paying a very high price.” Esther threw her arms around her father’s neck. Thank You Father! I am humbled to be chosen by such a fine man. I choose to honor him and our covenant.” “You give it serious consideration.” her father replied, “When you drink the “cup of acceptance” you must be completely sure, with no doubts, you will never be able to give yourself to another.”
The Ketubah, The Marriage Covenant
Once a couple was betrothed, “The Price of The Bride” negotiated, the Ketubah signed and the Cup of Acceptance shared the marriage was final. There was no pre-marriage “break-up”, even though the marriage had not been consummated. The only way out was divorce which was unusual, dishonoring to the groom and socially and financially devastating to the bride. Careful consideration must be given.
The Ketubah was a written contractual agreement detailing “price of the bride” and the conditions of the marriage. The Ketubah contained the promises the groom was making to the bride and the brides rights and privileges in the marriage. It promises the groom will provide food, housing, clothing and all the wife’s needs. The document stated that the groom would be completely truthful with the bride.
The Ketubah required Esther to be “set apart”, and cover her face with a veil in public. She would now be known as “one bought with a price“. The veil would be worn in public until after the marriage was consummated. Then Esther would be identified as Ahasuerus’s bride.
In addition Esther agreed to keep her lamp lit every night. She must be ready to leave with her groom at a moment’s notice. Neither the bride or groom know when that day will come, it is completely up to the father of the groom to decide when the bridal chamber is ready for the bride and all preparations are adequate.
Ahasuerus’s promises to Esther went beyond just basic provision after they were married. He provided a ring to show she was betrothed and he left her with a helper. “Esther, I will be gone many years, probably at least four years, preparing for our life together. I am leaving you a helper, Hannah, my own maid servant. She will be your helper, your comfort in my absence and teach you the skills you need for our life together. She knows me as my own mother, you will be well prepared for our life together.” Esther’s heart melted; this was the essence of Ahasuerus, tender and caring, always going above and beyond.
The “Price of the Bride” paid by Ahasuerus was even more amazing given Esther’s condition, you see Esther was crippled from birth with a withered foot. The village tongues wagged as they watched the most eligible bachelor pay handsomely for the least likely bride. Esther had an amazing ability to do almost as much as a person with full function of their body. She was known for her incredible perseverance and joyful attitude, however, she would always require special considerations throughout her life.
Honor God – Respect “The Price of the Bride”
You and I were “bought with a price”, Yeshua suffered torture, pain and a humiliating death for His bride. He the perfect human and God in the flesh chose us, crippled by our flesh and always needing special considerations in life. Isaiah 53:5 reminds us Yeshua’s hands and feet were pierced with nails and his side pierced with a sword to pay for our rebellion. Yeshua was crushed for our acts of injustice and unfairness. The punishment that brought us peace with Hashem (G-d) was on him. We are healed because of the beating he took on our behalf.
The Mindset of Honor
When we enter into relationship with Yeshua we are the betrothed Bride of Yeshua. Like Esther, we must give careful thought to entering into relationship with this bridegroom. We must be sure we do not have “eyes for another”, or a heart turned away from Him. We must see ourselves and allow ourselves to be known as “one set apart”. To do any less would dishonor the amazing price he paid. This is the mindset of Honor. To give respect worthy of the sacrifice made for us with our attitudes and our actions.
Honor Hashem (G-d) – Be Ready
Just as Esther was required to keep her lamp lit every night and always be ready to go, we must also live with the awareness our Bridegroom will return at any time; we must be ready to go. Just as Ahasuerus told Esther he was going to his father’s house to prepare a place for her.
Yeshua said in Yochanan (John) 14:2-3, Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in Hashem (G-d), believe also in Me. 2 “In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. Ahasuerus would come and get Esther when His father felt the proper preparations were made. The grooms return was completely up to his father.
Yeshua said in Matthew 24:36 “But when that day and hour will come, no one knows, not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. We Have A Helper, The Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) Ahasuerus went above and beyond and left Esther a helper from his family to comfort her, teach her and counsel her. Yeshua said in Yochanan (John) 14:16-17 16 “16 and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. 17 The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you.
A Life of Honor
Seeing myself as “the betrothed of Yeshua” creates a new filter for my thoughts, my words, my attitudes, my actions. Is this attitude towards another honoring Hashem (G-d)? Are my words and actions honoring Hashem (G-d)? Does the way I keep my body honor Hashem (G-d)? I am veiled, I should be recognized as “one set apart”. People should see in me “the mark of Hashem (G-d)”. This is not a legalistic constraint but rather a hopeful perspective, a joyful anticipation of a bride.
Now when I take communion I look at the bread that represents the body of my groom. The body who paid “The Price of The Bride” with beatings, rejection, piercing and death. I thank Him: For allowing himself to be wounded for my transgression. Transgression means rebellion. For being bruised, in his whole body, for my iniquities, my injustices and unfairness. For paying a debt He did not owe with His body that I might live in peace. That His wounds paid for my healing. I accept His healing, to not do so would be to cheapen the sacrifice He made for me.
Next we will look at The Cup of Acceptance
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