A Twelve-Month Beauty Regimen
Esther spent twelve months preparing for one night with King Xerxes. She spent the first six months undergoing "preparations" utilizing oil of myrrh. She spent the second six months undergoing "preparations" utilizing perfumes or sweet spices.
Myrrh is the fragrant resinous gum of a plant with astringent properties (meaning that it naturally constricts soft (organic) tissue and restricts the flow of bodily fluids). It is considered a bitter herb, but it was often combined with the sweeter fragrance of fankincense in various formulas.
The first six months of Esther''s preparations speak of cleansing, purification, and the removal of all toxins and defiling agents, both within and without. The constant bathing and application with oil of myrrh cleansed, purified, and softened the skin. It also embedded the fragrance deeply. Esther literally ''oozed'' fragrance. Esther followed the half year of cleansing and purification(with myrrh) with another intensive six-month period of immersion and saturation with "''sweet spices". It included frankincdnse and also perhaps onchya, stacte, galbanum, cassia, and cinnamon.
If we want to live in God''s presence, we must make repentance a part of our daily and moment-by-moment routine. We should breathe it in and pray it out, rub it deep into our being to remove impurities and soften our hardened attitudes, and ingest it to cleanse our inward parts.