It is unlikely that Hegai will ever become a household name, and this is unfortunate. After all, this slave of King Xerxes’ court plays a significant role in the preservation of the people of Israel (though it is likely he never really understood this).
The book of Esther introduces us to him by saying that Hegai is “the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women” (2:3). In Esther the reader discovers that King Xerxes is seeking a wife. His advisers suggest that women from all over the empire should be brought in, placed in Hegai’s charge, and courted by the king until the king can discern which one shall be the queen. Hegai’s responsibility is startling! Consider all the things he must ensure before each candidate goes before the king. One reads that Hegai is to provide special clothing and food and bodily care such as jewelry and make-up and perfumes and baths. Furthermore, each candidate is apparently to receive some servants for her personal care. Hegai’s job was to make these things happen.
Apparently—through God’s gracious hand—Hegai took a special interest in the young Hebrew girl Esther. One discovers in verse 9 that “the girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.” Hegai saw the great value of this potential bride-to-be. Thus, he went above and beyond to make sure she became the best bride the king could have.
Give serious thought to this question: are you doing your best to make sure the bride of Christ is the best bride the King could have? The reason Hegai stands out as he did is because of his unusual interest and attention to Esther. His influence helped her be more than beautiful before the king of Persia. You and I must apply the same principle of interest and attention that he applied as we prepare to meet our Savior Jesus. Here are some ways to help the Bride of Christ be the very best it can be for Him: First, we must know the King (Jesus) well enough to understand what would please Him. Investing in the Scriptures daily helps us do this. So do fervent prayer and a life of contrition. Second, we must be intentional in attending to the needs of the Bride. Seminaries and Bible teachers go to great lengths to talk about exegeting the Scriptures. Exegeting people is important too! It helps one to know how to love in a meaningful way. And it is this love—faithfully extended—that helps make an average bride especially beautiful.
The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that Christ wants the church to be “radiant, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and blameless” (Eph 5:27). The Hegai Principle is that those who can (parents, friends, elders, teachers, deacons, pastors, etc.) help build the Bride of Christ, must do it with an excellence, fervor and attentiveness that will be very pleasing to the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you applying the Hegai Principle?
It was suggested to me that Hegai was a figure that represented the Holy Spirit. Who better to know the King and what the King favors than His Spirit and listening to the Spirit’s counsel, taking only what the Spirit recommends to the King, trust in Jesus and His righteousness, ensures favor and acceptance with the King.
A new revelation to me on the book of Esther. What a terrific picture of our responsibilty to the bride of Christ, of which we are.