Esther 1:9-12 (NKJV) – 9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus. 10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
The beginning of Esther 1 recaps a 180 day and 7 day party that the king threw to show off his riches, glory, strength, create unity, and gain support. In verses 9-12, the king, under the influence, asked the queen to show off her beauty. Knowing that the king was under the influence and that this was probably not a decision he would have made while sober, she refused to come to his party. As a result of his drunken state, the king put him and the queen at a cross roads.
When we place all of our hope, worth, comfort, etc. in the things of the world instead of God, we open ourself up to the potential to fall into situations and cross roads that we may have not intended.
When have you placed higher value in the things that the world has to offer than in what God has to offer? What was the outcome?
Esther 1:19-22 (NKJV) – 19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 When the king’s decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small. 21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 Then he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.
Because the king was angry that the queen denied his request to show off her beauty as the grand finale at his party, he felt the need to punish and make an example of her. This ends up undermining the king and the purpose of his parties by proclaiming to all of Persia that he is not as powerful and in control as he claims. The best political moves, the best self indulging, the best self-identification of power resulted in the brokenness of the kings family.
This world will show us a certain amount of comfort, feel good escape, fun, etc., but it will default on that loan that it offers us. The only true hope that we have is in Jesus.
In what ways do you see society looking for things in the world that only God can offer?
What can you do to help them see that the answer and escape they are looking for is Christ?
Some of the things that this world has to offer are okay in moderation. These things become an issue when they cause us to sin and are placed above God.
How can you be of the world but not in it?
In what ways would this help you bring Christ to the world?