Esther: Clothing and Fashion (1)
Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus,
after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the
women, (for so were the days of their purification accomplished, to wit,
six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours,
and with other things for the purifying of women)…
Read Esther 2:8-14
Years ago I visited a home where there was a large picture frame with two
fig leaves mounted behind the glass. Above the two fig leaves was the following
inscription: Genesis 3:7 The first clothing. The scriptural reference
used here is very remarkable. This text and the picture below bring various
questions: Why are we clothed? For whom do we dress? How do we dress?
We would like to address these questions by looking at the history of Esther.
Esther is faced with the choice of how she is going to dress. The consequences
at stake are great. Clothing makes the man and the woman. That was
true then as it is now. This was certainly true in Esther’s situation, for Ahasuerus
was looking for a new wife. Vashti had been removed because she
had refused to be on display before the king and his dignitaries at a drinking
banquet. This refusal cost the queen her marriage and her position.
Consequently, various women were brought to the king to spend the night
with him after a time of preparation. Then they were sent away again the next
morning. This went on until the moment when the king would be captivated
by one of the women. First impressions were of utmost importance. Neither
cost nor trouble was spared. Whatever ornaments, make-up, or costumes a
woman needed to make her attractive were supplied, with the purpose of infatuating
the king. When you get dressed in the morning, you are faced with
a choice: What shall I wear? A fashion designer once said: Clothing is communicating.
What message do you communicate by your dress?
Thought: God has something to say about all areas of your life including
how you dress.
Psalter 367:4 (based on Psalm 132)
Thou, the Lord, hast chosen Zion, Thou hast ever loved her well;
This My resting place forever, Here, Thou sayest, I choose to dwell.
Surely I will bless and help her, Feed her poor, her saints make glad,
And her priests shall stand before Me In salvation’s garments clad,
And her priests shall stand before Me In salvation’s garments clad.