Thursday, June 26, 2008

Esther Cont. - Bye Bye Vashti

Esther 1:13-22 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom. "According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?" he asked. "She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her." Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.' This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen's conduct will respond to all the king's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. "Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king's edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest." The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

A couple once came to my counter where I worked, the husband was buying an item for the wife and then proceeded to pick up the same item to purchase for himself. She looked at him and said, "What are you doing? We can't BOTH afford this... Fine, I just won't get mine." She proceeded to put hers down and cross her arms. The poor man looked like a wounded puppy dog. He simply took his item back, returned to the counter and purchased just the one item, for her. He may have, in private, chose to stand his ground and argue - but in light of the fact that he was in public, he decided to give in - so as not to make a scene.

This was the predicament that King Xerxes was facing. Queen Vashti had embarrassed him by refusing to come, could he sheepishly back down to avoid further conflict? Not according to all his counsel that gathered around him. They urged, persuaded and prodded him to get rid of the Queen - who did this 'woman' think she was - disrespecting her husband like this, who was the King, no less. This certainly gives us a look at the social standards of these days - women, even the queen, did as they were told by their husbands.

We can be appreciative of how good we have it today: to be expected to be treated with respect as a woman. If my husband and I lived in those times - I would've surely been kicked out by now. Thank God for a patient and gracious husband.

So, the only alternative left for the king was to get rid of Vashti - and that's exactly what he did. Of course, since it was sure to spread through the gossip grapevine that this had happened, he then had to send out a letter to everyone in his kingdom announcing her punishment. See if Vashti will ever work in that town again.

This is a reminder to us about how God is good. As Christians, even when we do things that are displeasing to Him, even when we make a bad decision and embarass Him, He will never kick us out - we are forever in His kingdom, and we will always have a job to do...

2 wonderful insights:

Kay Martin said...

Dear Dorothy,
You were such a wonderful speaker at She Conference last week. Your blog matches your speaking gift. I love the story of Esther and you so wisely grasped Queen Vashiti's lack of wisdom in disrespecting the king. Yes, awesome is the great mercy of Almighty God that He never kicks us out no matter how much we mess up.
God bless you beautiful woman of God.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Girl, I am so glad you have a blog. I enjoyed listening to you at the conference as well! I have saved your blog and will be back.

I tried to leave a comment on the Esther post above but could not find it. Love those pics of the Emperor! :)
Angela-Your She Speaks group sister! :)