Years ago there lived a king of fabulous wealth. When Alexander the great conquered Persia, he found 1200 tonnes of gold bullion and 270 tonnes of gold coins and that was only a fraction of what the wealth that belonged to King Xerxes. He had incredible banquets lasting for weeks at which trained peacocks would walk up and down the tables carrying the best of wine which could be drunk from golden cups. One day after his wife had dishonoured him publicly he began to look for a new wife. The search began throughout his kingdom and out of 1400 other young girls a woman named Esther was chosen to be the Queen of the whole world.
She was a Jewish peasant girl and only the scripture reveal why she was so delightful to the king and how we too can delight our Heavenly King. Esther was lovely and beautiful. Beautiful means she was stunning to look at but lovely means something quite different. It’s talking about who she was on the inside. She was lovable; full of gentle kindness and grace.
But before she came to see the king she was prepared by the chamberlain to smell like the King. The King was not used to dating girls off the farm and so for twelve months before she was ready to encounter the King she bathed in perfumed oil and milk. In India, in the old days, the bride to be of the Maharajahs would clothe themselves with a big tent-like dress. They then would light a smouldering perfumed candle under the dress and stand still until the incense filled every pore of her body with the fragrance.
It was fitting that Esther smell the same as her king and as we approach our King Jesus the fragrance he is used to and delights in, is the fragrance of the Holy anointing oil.
When we visited the Fragonard perfume factory in Grasse, France, we learned that perfume was first used by men to hide the smell that God on them from being tanners of leather. They would rub it on themselves before they went home. In the Old Testament, the priests were to make a holy anointing oil to cover the smell of man’s flesh. Exodus 37:29, Leviticus 1.19
Friends, as His royal priests and lovers today, it is the fragrant oil of the Holy Spirit filling “every pore” of our life that covers the fragrance of man’s flesh and makes us compatible and attractive to Jesus.