Parade No More! Esther 1:12

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But when the attendants delivered the king’s command,
Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became
furious and burned with anger. Esther 1.12

 

VashtiLet me say first, there is something that you can learn from every passage.   Even when a person is wrong (King Xerxies), it does not mean we can not learn lessons from them, and that everything he did was wrong.  Having said that, even when a person is a good person (in this case Queen Vashti), it does not mean that everything she did was right, or that we can not draw thoughts or question her actions.  There is only one person that can not be questioned; Yep, you guessed it!  

Let’s acknowledge that the Hitlers of the world are terrible people, but we can learn from them.  They did something right, and those things make them successful even in doing the wrong they did.  Our job is to look at the lives of others and even our own lives and to consider our ways, as I will do in this blog, which will look at Queen Vashti from the perspective of one who carefully considered her actions before deciding not to appear before the King.

As an example for others, she considered her position and used her platform to send a message to young women and old women, that they should no longer subject themselves to the abusive treatment of their men.  When summoned by the King, she decided there would be No More Parades!  No more walks of being paraded around for her beauty in front of the Kings friends!  Despite the possible loss of life, and loss of position and possessions, she made the statement that it would better to be a divorced,  a homeless citizen than to live a life of luxury with a husband that only sees you as a trophy wife.

I wonder, how many of us would display such courage?

HowOld books, inkstand and scroll many of us are so certain about justice and equality, that we are willing to risk our lives to get what is right for ourselves?  While most of us would have been satisfied to eat and sleep good, Queen Vashti decided that there was more to life than living in luxury.  If only more of us had the same convictions.  She chose not to compromise her dignity and self worth for the sake of being prosperous!

She decided that the parade of her beauty was beneath her, and demanded to be seen as more than her looks.  She wanted the respect of the King, and at all cost, was determined to stop her parades and the parades of others that would follow her.

This is important for us to examine.  As we see those coming forth in the entertainment and political industry today, we are reminded that there are more important things that prosperity and our careers.

First, one should never abuse power!  Second, one should not accept the abuse of power!  Third, one should not support or cover up the abuse of power.    Queen Vashti decided that she would stand against this abuse.  She faced it head on and decided that she would nip it in the bud.

sweepunderrug

She was aware that many women in the kingdom desired to be her, and also were using her as an example for life.  She grew frustrated with the lack of progress of women everywhere and sacrificed herself to lead the charge towards progress.  She decided that she would not allow herself to be used a pawn in the Kings game to trick women into allowing them to be abused by their husbands.  Her compliance with being abused would lead to many other subjecting themselves to the same discourse, and she chose to make a stand!  While most of us can not see past the silver spoon in the second course of our meal, to see the fork and knife in the third course, Queen Vashti decided to live beyond herself and but others before her!  She knew his aim was to keep women sub servant so they wouldn’t become powerful and influential or even lead their families.

How many of us are thinking of more than ourselves when we make decisions?

As we investigate all that is before us, I pray that we will not be too comfortable with our positions, and so in love with our prosperity, that we not consider others when we take action.  There are times in life when we get to live beyond ourselves and make a difference for others, and Queen Vashti took it.   I hope we can learn from her and do the same.

#PastorJDO3

I loved the discussion from my blog post on facebook, but do want to encourage us to be open when looking at life and at text.  Everyone, I repeat everyone in the Bible is flawed, save one!   We can look critically at text and take into context all its warts and pimples.  Queen Esther, who is the focal point of the story is chosen as Queen not because of her brains, but because of her beauty (much like her predecessor Queen Vashti), but this does not mean that we can not learn from her.  She also kept her lineage a secret, but we can still learn from her.  She also uses her beauty to get before the King.  I can go on and on, and I skipped over some things too!   There are also more than one way to make an impact!  Queen Vashti choose to be removed from being queen, while Queen Esther kept the position and used it to benefit her people.  Both women are heros, but took different approaches to make change and take a stand for right.

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3 thoughts on “Parade No More! Esther 1:12

  1. I agree with you that Queen Had to did a very heroic thing for wo.an but I question the Kong’s reason for summoning her. Yes it was an abuse of power and the consequences for the women in the kingdom were as you stated bit was his motivation or purpose to keep them subservient? Or was it more base than that? The text seems to indicate it was a drunken, egotistical, prideful king showing off for some conniving, perverted drunken men? When he sobered up he regretted what he had done but even he could not change it. Whatever he said was law. (Another lesson About careless speech) What did I miss in the text to lead you to your reason or did you have another source. If so please share it with me. I am still learning.

    • The blog was to address the possible motives of Queen Vashti and how heroic they were and the possible motives of King Xeres. I don’t personally believe his original intent was to keep women subservient. I believe it was far deeper than that. As a man who heads a household, I understand how unpopular decisions are made often to curtail the collapse of ones Kingdom, and how doing what one deems best can be viewed and received out of context. I do agree that this is a lesson in careless speech for many, but I think he stood by the decree because he believed it was best. The text also shows that he loved Queen Vashti and appreciated her for more than her looks, but you are unique as a woman, in that most women take this text to think he believed she was property and trash. If you read the previous blog, you will see another presentation written to cause thought and change. Also, if I had mentioned any of these “excuses”, the female audience would have killed this blog like they did on facebook. 🙂

  2. I think it should also be noted that Xerxes showed mercy toward Vasti. The customary consequence for disobeying and disrespecting the king was death. He exercised his discretion to banish instead. Looking at the situation based on their societal customs and norms gives greater understanding to actions taken. Sometimes we only see things from our cultural perspective and that can lead to great misunderstanding. As you have pointed out, there is much we can learn from these events.

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