Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve month’s preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation [purification] apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes [sweet spices] and preparations for beautifying women – (Esther 2:12 NKJV, emphasis mine).
You might be wondering why I would relate this verse (along with verse 17 and the whole story) with the profound and difficult subject of suffering and brokenness. It has to do with illustrating the ultimate purpose in brokenness. I have been casually mentioning it throughout these messages, now it’s time to emphasize how profound and prophetically powerful this really is!
In the first 3 parts to this 4 part message on Brokenness, I shared 4 causes behind our hardships and sufferings. The fourth cause behind some of our troubles I mentioned is “God.” This series is designed to focus in on God’s involvement and what He is up to during times of hardship, which also explains why He allows bad things to happen. This quote from J.C. Ryle, “There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction,” reveals in it one of the purposes of suffering described in Ps. 119:67,71,75. I also read a quote from Pope John Paul II that said, “Suffering is an invitation to be like the Son by doing the will of the Father.” That’s exactly right; suffering is an opportunity or doorway if you will to join together with Jesus. By denying our will and pride and doing what pleases God in the midst of our sufferings, we develop godly character. There are no classrooms that can make you understand the “why” of suffering. Only by keeping our focus on Jesus, will we learn godliness.
Our closeness to Christ through our experiences of pain and suffering is where we will gain understanding and the grace to endure even if we still can’t understand the “why.” What I refer to as God’s school of hard knocks and what the Bible refers to as the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10) is first for the purpose of breaking our outer-man. This consists of the soulish part of us, (our will and pride specifically). Sufferings serve as one of Gods tools to break our outer-man for the purpose of our inner-man or spirit-man within to come forth and prevail in our lives. The Bible reveals that there is a veil separating the outer court from the inner place of the holy of holies (Ex.26:33). Hebrews 4:12 shows us that there is a separation point between bone and marrow, illustrating the veil as it were or an egg shell-like separation between our soul and spirit; where our outer-man meets our inner-man. We have to break the egg shell for the use of the nutrients within.
The Word of God teaches we have to break the earthly alabaster jar (Mark 14:3-9/Jh 12:3-8) for the use of the precious, valuable ointment within to be a sweet smelling aroma unto the Lord (2Cor.2:15; Eph. 5:2). Succeeding in this will allow the Glory of God to be revealed through you here on earth. This leads to the second and ultimate purpose in brokenness: prepared to go beyond the spiritual veil and into the direct presence of the King of all kings!
What Esther 2:12 is saying is that after all the young women had been chosen throughout the whole kingdom for the King to pick a new Bride to make Queen; the women were kept from seeing the King for twelve months to undergo a purification process. Before they could see the King, they had to be prepared to be presentable and beautiful before the King’s presence. No sin can stand before the presence of a Holy God! They had to be made delightful and desirable to be around; polished and deep cleaned if you will. Understand that the women were chosen indiscriminately, from the high class to the very lowest of class.
Many among them had a poor diet and ate frequently the same ole harsh foods that caused particular odors through the pours of their skin. Their skin was often callus and dry from hard work under the hot sun. Bugs and lice were also a problem for some. You wouldn’t go see a King or Prime Minister or President without looking your best. These women were fed healthy foods and for the first six months bathed frequently, being scrubbed down and rubbed down with oil of myrrh and also probably the traditional olive oil and aloes as well, (according to the use of the Hebrew word shemen and its frequent use back then). The pure oil of myrrh was a main ingredient of the holy anointing oil the Priests anointed with, Ex. 30:23. After six months of organic treatments to cleanse and condition the skin, the best herbal spices were added for sweet smelling aromas. After a year of lavish, healthy foods and state-of-the art spa treatments, and proper etiquettes and protocol training, they were prepared to come before the King, in his inner chambers. The awesome supernatural thing about these Old Testament passages is that they teach the reality of what actually happens in relation to the spiritual and natural realms (1Cor.10:11).
The first word that is in bold in our opening verse is the word “after.” A biblical concept is taught throughout the Old and New Testaments that receiving the promises and blessings come after doing the will of God; after the battle, after the fight, after the conflict and struggles will you achieve the victory. For you heard it said, the greater the battle, the greater the victory. This is seen in the whole concept of the Patience of the Saints; it is seen in the life of Christ in Acts 1:3 “… after His suffering … He showed Himself alive …” (NET) [and entered His Glory]! The book of Hebrews tells us in 10:36, “… after you have done the will of God you may receive the promise.” 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (NET). This principal is also seen in this powerful verse (which sums up my whole message and purpose of this message in a nutshell), “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 AMP).
Next, there are 5 principal organic ingredients found in the way the anointing oil was made, found in Ex. 30:23. This message helps relate what the significance of these are to us today. There are 2 bitter spices and 2 sweet spices mixed together by olive oil; namely – pure myrrh; sweet cinnamon; sweet calamus cane; cassia; and olive oil. If there is any truth to biblical numerology, the number 5 relates to Grace. Grace is absolutely needed to enable us to endure hardship as a good solider of Jesus Christ (2Tim. 2:3). Exodus shows us that only half as much sweet spices were used. It only takes half as much of the sweet spices to counter the bitter.
That’s the power the Holy Spirit has in us to overcome bitterness in our lives today. The mixing of spices and other ingredients to make fragrant ointments is the symbolic work of the Holy Spirit instilling all His attributes into us as our sin-nature is broken down. We need to bathe daily in the sweet anointing of Gods Spirit. The gum from the bark of Myrrh is bitter but is associated with the meaning of meekness, same with the spice Cassia which refers to tears. Sweet Cinnamon refers to obtaining sweetness of spirit, and Calamus is a sweet cane referring to gentleness. Olive oil represents peace and prosperity. The woman the king would choose to be his Bride had to radiate these qualities. The Holy Spirit is that great care taker of the Bride, mixing His spices within us that they become a part of our very nature so that we may be presentable to the King. There is so much more to this that I’ll have to share in book form.
In the previous message on brokenness, “The Patience of the Saints,” I mentioned that there are few who minister out of a broken spirit. On a personal/individual level, many jump off God’s operation table because of the pain of pruning and loss; thus, the title “The Avoided Doorway to the Glory of God.” People naturally tend to avoid being broken. Remember, God is preparing a Bride – and that through blood! Many I talk to about this on the larger prophetic level concerning the whole Body of Christ going through a purification/beautification process become nervous and panicky. They begin to wonder subconsciously how they can save themselves from trouble; which is nothing more than the fallen-natured mind, going into fearful survival mode. They are taught to believe that God will rapture them and therefore escape any further trouble and hardships. While it is true that Jesus will come and catch His Bride away (1Thess.4:17), it is the timing that has been in debate for centuries. We simply do not know exactly when this will take place. We do know that the leaves are starting to turn and the season is upon us. However, the timing is a secondary issue that we ought not to fight about and be so focused on. We need to be focused on Christ and what He is doing now and doing His will every day and tomorrow will take care of itself!
The Church has always grown the most when under the most persecution. The end-time, anti-Christ persecution and hardships that are embarking upon us, could serve as the final purification process of the Church. These times of severe hardship and suffering sparked serious times of intense prayer leading to great times of revival. There is awesome revival in some of our most intense times of persecution. We saw in history that in order for the Church to break out of the whoredoms of idolatry, she (the Church) had to be reformed, and underwent a purging / purification process during the Reformation period (roughly between 1215-1689 AD with the worst of it in the 1500’s) in order to be useful and Greatly Awakened and preserved.
I believe the Church will again experience something very similar in an anti-Christ end-time world system to rid her of the spots (Jas.1:27) of the worldly whoredom’s she adapted to over time. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken (Heb. 12:27) until all that is left is the structure of truth upon the pure foundation of Christ! I understand this is a hard and unpopular message that turns many people off, but I believe this is the Jeremiah-like prophetic message the Lord is saying to the Church. This is to warn the Church to be ready and strengthened, exactly as Acts 14:22 says above.
Remember how Job endured by keeping his focus on God which brought him through brokenness to incredible blessings. In like manner, the Patience of the Saints will also bring us into blessing beyond our wildest dreams! Be ready to go, and be ready not to go, stay in Christ no matter what! For it is Christ, not our theology that is our strong refuge and mighty fortress against any and every attack!
It’s never easy going through hardships and being broken. The good news is that brokenness is only for a season and always leads to wholeness. Our responses determine how long or short our seasons are. The important thing to do is to stay focus on Christ more than our troubles. Also keep in mind that our loving heavenly Father has a wonderful plan and purpose for our life that He is bringing about. Suffering and brokenness is involved at times but knowing there is a Blessed Hope at the end of the fire brings a resolved and confident endurance. By continuing in prayer and renewing our minds in the Word of God, we can learn to purely trust Him and love Him through whatever hardship comes our way, assured that blessings are guaranteed to follow. While going through any hardships in your life, never lose focus of the ultimate purpose in brokenness; which is coming before and living in the awesome, direct, un-veiled, Shekinah Glory of our Holy and Sovereign Creator! It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!
- Why Being a Christian Can Be Difficult? A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part I
- Understanding Suffering. A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part II
- The Patience of the Saints A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part III
- The Avoided Doorway to the Glory of God A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part IV
The mission of the “Creation Under Fire project” is to educate people with the truth of our origin as revealed in the first book of the Holy Bible – Genesis. To establish a clear understanding of the original thought and intent of the author as it was originally recorded; therewith, dispelling untrue theories of creation within the church. In turn, strengthening people’s faith and equipping them with real answers for the faith they possess and to defend it well. Also to expose the most subtle scheme Satan has ever unleashed on humanity, which has sent more people to hell than any other attack mankind has ever known. Refranzen1@live.com www.CreationUnderFire.com