Who would have thought that a young, simple Jewish girl would ever become Queen of the very extensive Persian Empire? Or, that she would be used of God to save an entire race of people? Her own people. God's People!
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The story doesn't start with Esther. It starts with her husband - before he was her husband.
One thing there is no doubting - this guy loved to party! And, he didn't send out invitations with hours (Show up at 7:00; leave at 9:00). He sent out invitations with Months! (You're invited to join us for a party from March to August!)
Either he had conquered enough of the known world that he didn't need to worry about foreign affairs, or he had plenty of generals for such trivial matters, (I mean, seriously, why should the King worry about such things when there were parties to throw and people to impress!?!) We see that he threw a party that lasted 180 days in the third year of his reign! And, if that wasn't enough, he threw another party when that one was over.
Honestly, though, this second party was really not much to speak of. It only lasted 7 days, and it was only for people that worked in the palace. (talk about a party-pooper!) (Who knows? Maybe this was a "thank-you" party for the palace staff for a job well done on the previous 180 day party??) Whatever the case, we know that this man had a desire to impress people!
And, what man wouldn't want to impress others with the beauty of his very own wife - especially after having drunk a little more than necessary? The Bible says that King Ahasuerus sent a servant to fetch his wife, the beautiful Queen Vashti, because she was "fair to look on" (1:11).
We are not given a reason for her disobedience. Perhaps she didn't want to be paraded in front of a bunch of drunken men. (who would?) Or, maybe she was just too busy throwing her own feast for the women in the royal house (1:9), but whatever the reason, she refused to join her husband. (1:12)
King Ahasuerus was mad! He called his wise men and counselors together. The queen had disobeyed. Publicly humiliated him! Something had to be done.
It was decided that Queen Vashti "had not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and all the people that are in all the provinces" of the land. (1:16) Vashti would be removed from being the queen, and another would be chosen to take her place.
Not, only was Vashti put out of the King's house, but a decree was sent out to all the provinces, in all languages demanding that men were to "bare rule in their own homes" and women everywhere were to obey their husbands! (This is funny to me! Now, it was law - women had to obey...or else...!....not sure what 'else'...???) (1:22)
I would be the first to agree that men should stand up and rule their own homes....I just think the way they went about it is funny. :)
Back to our story.....
For her disobedience, Vashti is no longer the queen. Women all across the kingdom have been put back in their places. The men are now able to breath easier...and party... (There I go again...!)
One day King Ahasurerus wakes up and realizes that his anger is past. He remembers Queen Vashti, who's not the queen anymore. A decree was made against her. There would be no changing it. Once a decree was made, it could not be undone - not even by the king, himself!
What was he going to do now? A king without a queen is like peanut butter without jelly! (we can't have that!) So, Ahasureus calls his wise men and counselors back to the rescue. Apparently, he figured if they could get him into this mess, they could (hopefully) get him out! (I think I'd find myself some new counselors!)
A plan was formulated. All of the beautiful, young virgins in the kingdom would be brought to the palace, and the king would choose a new queen from among them! A fabulous idea, if you happen to be King Ahasuerus!! (2:2-4)
I do hope you will join me as I study the life of "Esther - Queen of
Persia"! I hope to delve in and discover as much as I can about her
life and put myself in her shoes...or sandals?? Feel free to leave your
thoughts on her life and story in the comments section below!
In case you missed our previous posts in this series:
Introduction: Esther, Queen of Persia