Beauty and the Beast
Esther 2: 1-18
Liam Goligher’s opening comments
Keep your Bibles open at this chapter. Pretty straight forward chapter really in the book of Esther. It’s a story, isn’t it, of rags to riches. It’s the story of somebody who wins a beauty pageant or something – Miss Persia, 530.
But actually there is nothing romantic about this story. There’s actually nothing positive about this story. Well, there is, but it’s kept under wraps for the time being. Because what we have in this chapter is a whole lot of moral ambiguity. A whole lot of the reality of life in the raw: a life in which women are often objectified, in which women are treated only on the basis of what they look like, in which girls are made victims and where men are predatory. That’s really what this chapter is all about. It is an uncomfortable dark story of abduction and of abuse.
Posts in this series
Part 1: Liam Goligher’s sermons on the book of Esther (pt 1)
Part 2: Is this post.
Part 3: Of Plots and Kings — Liam Goligher’s 3rd sermon on the book of Esther
Part 4: If I Perish, I Perish — Liam Goligher’s 4th sermon on the book of Esther
Part 5: Battle Plans — Liam Goligher’s 5th sermon on the book of Esther
Part 6: Sleepless in Susa — Liam Goligher’s 6th sermon on the book of Esther
Part 7: Mission Impossible — Liam Goligher’s 7th sermon on the book of Esther
Part 8: Binding the Strong Man — Dr Liam Goligher’s 8th sermon on the book of Esther.
Part 9: Holy War — Dr Liam Goligher’s 9th sermon on the book of Esther
Part 10: Celebrate: Come On! — Dr Liam Goligher’s final sermon on the book of Esther
5 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast — Liam Goligher’s 2nd sermon on the book of Esther”
And thanks again, Dr Goligher! Another profound lesson to be learned in the book of Esther. You nailed it; and you courageously depict abuse in Beauty and the Beast.
Thank you for being along with ACFJ another voice for victims everywhere.
For the last year I have been teaching my three little granddaughters about women of the Bible. Just recently I taught on Esther. Your sermon, Dr. Goligher, has encouraged and enlightened me to go back to my three little ones again and make even more clearly the real story in Esther.
Vashti said No; and my three little ones now understand why. Esther said Yes, in you Lord, I will put my trust and if I perish I perish.
What profound wisdom we can glean in the book of Esther. And how it opens our eyes to domestic abuse found all around us today.
This is fantastic! Will be watching the whole series now.
It absolutely blows my mind how anyone could hold Esther responsible for the position she was in but in reading a story about Elizabeth Smart and her attempts to push back at awful Mormon purity teachings that made her feel worthless I saw a man express a similar thought, that a woman should push back against rape to the point of death to save her ‘purity’.
This series is remarkable. So much truth being exposed. Recently, I had another emotional encounter with ‘one’ of the abusers in my life. Although expecting the denial and excuse making I was still shocked for just how hard-hearted the abuser was and saddened knowing that other relatives and acquaintances would continue to add to the pile of excuses, thus this quote from Liam Goligher’s sermon jumped at me:
Thank you for posting this. It has bothered me for a long time the way the story of Esther is taught. I’ve heard this story romanticized so many times in Christian circles.
It was very powerful to hear Rev Goligher speak to victims of abuse and very clearly state, “We will believe you.” It is disheartening when the church does not or believes “there’s two sides to every story.” I think it’s due to the dearth of real compassion and empathy in the modern church. For people who preach on being the hands and feet of Jesus, it is my experience, that words are easy and empty.
From the original post:
I was not abducted, but I was sexually violated from the day I was born.
I have spent most of my life being judged by my outward appearance by my abusers.
I have spent most of my life being judged by my outward appearance by the world.
I am not remarkable in appearance, and I am content with appearing that way.
God sees my heart, He does not judge me by my outward appearance.