We could read LOTS into the backdrop to the story of Esther and the King Xerxes. We could marvel at the opulence of his “royal treatment” for the nobles and officials, allowing them liberal activities in a 7 day party after a whole 180 days of showing off his treasures… The GARDEN party locale had hangings of white and blue linen, couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones, plus had wine served in goblets of GOLD… wow… WOW!

The Queen Vashti also gave a party but we know nothing about that. And it doesn’t say WHY the Queen didn’t attend her husband’s party when CALLED to bring her to Him, but the text DOES say he was inebriated and in a drunken state when demanding her to come with the crown to show off her beauty, such a surface living worldly want… WELL!  (and she didn’t go – so eventually they banished her to set an example – and we never hear her side of the story).  

Well, it’s TOO EASY to put our opinions into the Word, finish the story, to suppose… SO we NEED TO BE CAREFUL anytime we guess (and I am NO scholar). We should ask “WHY” God’s Word is mentioning certain details and it IS good to know the backdrop to the story. The king sending one queen away made room for another – becoming the open opportunity for Esther to step into the palace. And it IS good to know the personality of this king, and how their society exists (outside in an area where Jewish people were exiled), and how impressed he and everyone was that Esther wasn’t demanding, was smart in addition to having beauty, and the fact that she exposed a plot to kill the king… But let me give yet another couple big picture thoughts: 

1) Queen Vashti didn’t choose to join the garden party of a drunken man with opulence and a show, even if he was a king… Wouldn’t this party be a big contrast to the REAL garden gathering with our REAL King, God in all HIS glory? People of faith are looking for the Real Deal . When God in his Good State CALLS, He is doing so to bless us. We will be willing to OBEY our King, we will know His voice as His sheep.

2) The earthly king and earthly followers thought that when the king’s edict was “proclaimed throughout all his vast realm” that all the women will “respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.” – because they would be motivated by punishment… Well, hmmmm…. Even if that was “customary” in a different era, it seems if the queen and king were in a BETTER position to BLESS each other, to RESPECT each other, and not fight by proxy, that the relationship may have MUCH BETTER chance… This is a good way to remember that Jesus as our GOOD King motivates us by His MERCY, His sacrifice and His elevation of us to the Kingdom, not using punishment. He is both our Lord AND our God as well as a Servant to Save. 

3) The earthly king had to consult the law and counselors and then banished Queen Vashti. In contrast our real King Jesus came to FULFILL the law and save us. We need to consult Him. God did tell prophet and counselor Samuel (serving Saul and David) that the people were MUCH better off to serve God and NOT ask for an earthly king… well, they still asked to be controlled and that sent whole communities down wrong paths from then on. Let us Serve God.

4) Esther gained favor to this earthly king Xerxes,  by being honest and also using sometimes clever ways that God gave her, for her mission was for her people, the Jews, and she was called by God to use her position for good, not for entertainment in a drunken state of worldly wants. She had to think about what God was CALLING her to do and work within her system, given thru advice by her cousin father-figure Mordecai. She willing OBEYED. She was prepared for THIS Heavenly King’s command. 

Jesus came and is here now, and now through our Holy Spirit we are being made new, given the tools for work, we are to be a “bride prepared for her groom” as the church, not a surface clean but a deep desire in us must grow. To know our King is to love Him and know His Ways… To be prepared is to allow the fruits of the Spirit to develop in us. 

Aren’t we ALL looking for God’s BETTER Garden? Let us appreciate Our King. 



Esther 1

Queen Vashti Deposed

This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.  But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

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.

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