Tag: God promotes people

Public example!

Scripture reading for May 14th: Esther1-2

Esther is an interesting book of the Bible.  It takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the 50,000 Jews were rebuilding the temple and walls in Jerusalem.  It never mentions the name of God, but God’s presence is implied and felt throughout the story.  It is the story of ordinary Jewish people who are trying to be faithful to their God while they live in a foreign land.  As they live out their lives, God is moving and turning all circumstances to work out for the good of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)  Even things that look like they are evil!

The first two chapters deal with how God puts Esther, a beautiful virgin and Jew, in the palace of the king of Persia.  This story tells of a partying king who liked to drink and boast of his wealth and possessions, and evidently of his women, too!  He called for his beautiful queen, Vasti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with her husband.  Queen Vasti refused to do what he asked.  The king was furious and sought counsel as to what to do about this offense.  It was decided that she must be made a public example so that other women would not get the idea that they could disobey their husbands and show them disrespect.  Queen Vasti was removed from her royal position and was never to come into the king’s presence again!  As a result of this, a search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place.  God then exalts Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!

Let’s talk about this example.  In today’s culture, what Vasti did would have been totally acceptable!  She probably felt disrespected herself by her husband’s desire to display her before a group of drunken men.  She did not want to be eye candy for this group that were already inflamed by wine.  She had her principles and stuck by them.  She would have her rights as well as the king.  She would have been commended by all today, especially Christians!

How is it that the king was so upset?  In that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands.  This disrespect by disobedience was not tolerated!  In the pagan culture, no conviction of right or wrong could stop the king from having what he wanted!  All the men in power agreed about that and felt threatened by the queen’s action!  They felt that they needed to take action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)

God used the culture of that day to accomplish his purposes.  He removed the one queen, probably protecting her for her stand of faith.  He placed Esther, a godly Jew, in the place of influence and gave her favor in order to bring about the deliverance of all his people!  (Esther 2:17)  As a godly Jew, Esther knew how to obey the king and still remain loyal to her God.  By faith she became to all an example  of a woman true to her people and to God!

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