The latter parts of Esther 2:12 describes the “beauty treatments” the candidates received: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet odors.
Oil of Myrrh
Myrrh is a detox agent, relieves stress; it cleans and tones the skin and relieves dryness. It also means to distill. This process is about removing the residue of the journey. Often we mistake the preparation phase for the process. Myrrh washes away the former life, the former you. When immersed in the oil of myrrh, it becomes our new scent. Where there was dust and anger, there is now the oil. Where there was injury of memory, there is now the oil. Where there was the dryness of neglect or the tenderness of bruising, now, there is the presence of the oil of myrrh–to wash it away.
Consider in the myrrh treatment that there is such a thing as false myrrh. What is false myrrh? Read Proverbs 7:17 (KJV).
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Perfume here means to sprinkle, rub or sift. The effectiveness of the oil of myrrh treatment is that you and I are IMMERSED…not rolling in it. False myrrh is put on, sprinkled on something else other than you. It is creative avoidance. It is escapism. It is not facing the “it” you and I must face to get “there.” But, it is also easily detectable. When you and I decide to really submit to this treatment, we willingly immerse ourselves.
Sweet Odors – What is Your Brand?
All other references to sweet odors in scripture connect the odors to an offering or sacrifice (See Leviticus 26:31, 2 Chronicles 16:14, Daniel 2:46, John 12:3 and Philippians 4:18). Four spices make up the sweet odors: cinnamon, calamus, cassia and aloes. What is your brand? What is your emphasis? Do you “smell” more like any one spice? Or, are you an even blend of them all?
The principle here is that God chooses our emphasis, or what we will need for our assignment. Scripture references: Esther 2:12d and Romans 12:6-8 (after //)
- Cinnamon – condiment, used to prepare perfumes, in holy anointing oil // (v.8) exhortation, giving, consistent leadership
- Cassia – blooms used for holy anointing oil; pods & leaves used for medicine // (vv. 6-7) prophecy according to faith, teaching
- Calamus – good smelling spice made from imported reed; in holy anointing oil // (vv. 8-9) mercy, love
- Aloes – useful for skin disorders; heals wounds, ulcers & burns; used to perfume garments & beds // cr. 2 Cor. 5:19-20 reconciliation