Tag: save God’s people
Scripture reading for May 14th: Esther 1-2
The story of Esther takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the Jews were rebuilding the temple 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.
This story begins with a king of Persia who liked to drink, boast of his wealth, and evidently his women, too! He called for his beautiful queen, Vashti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with her husband. Queen Vashti 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 Vashti was removed from her royal position, never to come into the king’s presence again! A search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place. God exalted Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!
In today’s culture, what Vashti did would have been totally acceptable! She did not want to be eye candy for a group of men that were already inflamed by wine. But in that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands and disrespect (disobedience) was not tolerated! In the pagan culture, all the men in power felt threatened by the queen’s action! They took action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)
But God used the culture of that day to accomplish his purposes. He removed Vashti, protecting her for her stand of faith. He placed Esther 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 her God!