Oct. 18, 2017
Esther 1-Part 2
A gracious woman retaineth honor: and strong men retain riches. Proverbs 11:16
LET IT GLOW
Are you living in mundane days, where everything is ordinary, going the same day after day? Watch out, for in the snap of a finger, our life can change drastically. It did for one queen. Want to find out how? Follow along, friend.
It is the seventh day and King Xerxes' party is continuing. This Persian king's banquet actually lasted 6 months. Join me as we observe behind the curtains in the garden court. Can you hear the loud music, see the wild dancing, too much eating, and excessive drinking? This great king was so prideful that there were no limits, since he was one of the wealthiest people in the world at that time.
His guests consisted of political leaders, businessmen, military leaders, people from his 127 providences, as well as those in Susa. King Xexres' purpose for such an extravagant banquet was to launch a campaign economically and militarily. He desperately desired to conquer Greece, although his kingdom was a world power.
As the guest became drunk, they probably filled with lust from watching the slave girls' seductive dancing.
Persian kings loved to flaunt their wealth, even wearing precious gemstones in their beards. Jewelry was a sign of rank for Persian men. Even soldiers wore great amounts of gold jewelry in battle. (Life Application Study Bible)
Then something happened. One of those unexpected but pivotal moments that change everything. The king, whose heart was merry with wine, in other words he was drunk, commanded his 7 eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. She was another prize, physical beauty, which the king wanted to show off to his guests.
LET IT GROW
Shall we walk over to another banquet going on at the same time the king's was since the other one had gone down hill? Queen Vashti, Xerxes' wife, held a separate banquet for the wives, sisters, and mothers of the nation's leaders. Her feast was held in the royal house.
Although we don't know a great deal about her, evidently the queen was a strong-minded, independent-thinking woman who was not afraid to go against the wishes of her husband the king.
When Vashti got the king's order, how did she react? The queen refused, just saying no. Her beauty was her own and her husband's, not for show to hundreds of drunk men.
Don't you admire this queen? She took a stand against the greatest power in her world in order to keep her respect and dignity. Would we do the same?
Submission to husbands does not mean that a wife is a sexual pawn in he carnal desire of her husband. What the king asked of his wife was not submission; it was sexual slavery. (Swindoll)
Anger burned in the king. King Xerxes' advisors told him to get rid of the queen and replace her with another more worthy than she. So let it be written, so let it be done. The Persian law could not be altered. The beautiful Queen exited. So he king divorced the queen because she wouldn't cooperate. Those men were afraid other women would follow her example.
Here is some encouragement as Swindoll, in his book, Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity, points out:
- God not only moves in mysterious ways, He moves in mundane days. His hand is not removed from this (or any other) scene.
- God's plans are not hindered when the events of this world are carnal or secular. Those involved may not be glorifying Him, but never doubt He's present. He's at work.
- God's purposes are not frustrated by moral or marital failures. He is a God who applies grace to the long view of life.
Do we need that? Is there someone in our life that needs that?
LET IT GO
See God's grace.
Trust His hand is in control, even when sinful people do horrible things.
Stay committed to the things of God, even in the mundane days, no-big-deal days.
Beware of lust, power, pride, pleasures.