The Bridal Watch
Watching for the Bride of Christ; Her preparations in the King’s courts; and, Mysteries revealed.
So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.....
Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. (Esther 2:8-19,12)
In the book of Esther insights are revealed in to the preparation of the Bride of Christ, and the watch for her preparation for the Bridegroom, our returning King of kings, Jesus Christ. With the eyes of the Holy Spirit, and the understanding from the Lord, He shows us great mysteries about the watch for His return, and the preparation of His Bride, through the story of Esther.
Esther, a daughter of Israel, the people of God, lives in the land of a foreign king, raised by her cousin Mordecai. As the Lord open the door, as a virgin she is amongst many chosen to be a possible future wife of the king of the most powerful nation of the day. She is moved in to the capital, a Citadel City, in to the women’s quarters, to the best place in the house of women, tended to by seven maid servant. The favour of the Lord already apparent in her life, despite her lowly status.
After due preparation time (12 months), she went from the women’s quarters (like the outer courts of the palace), in to the King’s palace, and His chamber. Grace and favour is given to her by the King, and she is given the Queen’s crown, and the wedding feast is great. The preparation time was key to her date with destiny, and she received favour from the King’s eunuch, Hegai, who was responsible for preparing all the potential many virgin brides-to-be. He helped her in the season of preparation, blessing her with all she needed beyond the others, and she heeded his wisdom.
In the Bible, Esther 2, reveals this time, and notes two key parts:
The first six month involved anointing with the oil of myrrh
The second six months anointing with perfumes, and preparations for beautification
Thus we learn that as the virgin bride-to-be emerges from the people of God and is prepared to be the Bride of the King of kings, her preparation begins with dying to self. The Oil of Myrrh famously presented to the Christ child by the three wise men, and the by Mary, as a sign of the death that must follow for Him, and so too the Bride dies to self completely, so that Christ is fully formed in her. A season of humility, a painful time perhaps, and forsaking all that is known and comfortable, but safe in the knowledge that this is done under the cover of the King, and in the presence of His courts. Here emptied of our own agendas, we are filled with the oil of Christ, and His plans, becoming devoted believers.
Following this season, comes the one of perfumes and beautification, completing salvation's walk (Ps. 149:4). Here the Bride takes on the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, the hidden person of the heart (1 Peter 3:4). She is made spotless, in holiness; A fruitful garden, carrying the very fragrance of Christ. Devoted in prayer, being like Him, seeking Him, and so being a wellspring of the Holy Spirit. The Song of Solomon 4:1-15 using symbolic language to describe the beauty that comes from this time of preparation. And now, she is ready to enter in to the Bridegroom.
(The Beloved) Who is she who looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, awesome as an army with banners? (Song of Songs 6:10)
During this time, there is one given to watch over her preparation, as foreshadowed in Esther. Hegai, or Hege, (and pronounced ‘Hey-gay’), is the King’s servant, and has a name meaning meditation, word, groaning, suitable, fit, and worthy. Perhaps revealing something of the nature of his work, and its fruit. If we break down his name in to its Hebrew letters we see something very special.
Hege (הגא ):
Hey (ה ) - meaning: look, behold, the breath of God, reveal, revelation
Gimel (ג) - meaning: man walking, rich man (including royalty) coming with riches for the poor, camels (coming with riches)
Aleph (א) - meaning: Father, strength, master, Lord
This in his name, and his duties, we see a watchman for the coming King, who watches over the preparation of the Bride, with the wealth of the courts for her preparation. This reveals a particularly prophetic watchman calling, to watch over the preparation of the Bride, and, like Jesus, watching for the Bride. The Bride has the wisdom to heed the watchman’s voice. There are those who are being stirred by the Spirit of God, and aroused to this call to watch with Christ over His Bride, and for Him. For the Lord prepares His Bride under His watchful eye.
Rise watchman of the Bride, for though the night has been long, dawn is coming soon. Awake, like the five virgin and set your light, for behold the Bridegroom is coming, at Dayspring the shadows will flee, and He meets His Bride at the dawn.
For your prayerful consideration in Christ.
(To Her Beloved)
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of Bether [separation]. (Song of Songs 2:17)
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh [sacrifice and death] and to the hill of frankincense [royal and priestly anointing, prayer]. (Song of Songs 4:6)