I started reading the book of Esther this month as its the bible chapter of the month for my online bible study group and I had so many thoughts why I have decided to share here. I have studied the book of Esther before but the thing about studying the bible is that you learn new things every single time you read a passage again. So lets study Esther like its our first time.
My fun summary of Esther Chapter 1:
In a land so far away… Cue Game of thrones music There was this beautiful and wealthy kingdom that stretched out from India to Ethiopia.. (that’s like half of Asia btw) .. It was a very large kingdom. In this Kingdom, there lived a King with too much money and an a drinking problem. He ruled his land well, we cant say the same about his household. He got bored one day and thought to himself, “why don’t I throw a part for every one?” Not a bad idea his aides said…. But they were used to parties all the time as there wasn’t much going on. They had money and slaves and everything else they wanted. The King thought again to himself ” How can I make this party ground breaking and earth shattering?” hmmmmmmnnn…. Lets have a party that never stops for 6 months… ” wow”, his aides said ” Now that will be an unforgettable party”
And so they did it… They threw a party which lasted for 3 months… In the middle of this party, The King asked for his wife to be brought in so that he could show her off to his friends…Well she said NO. She was busy and wasnt going to honor his request. He had forgotten that while his queen was very beautiful, she was also strong willed and opinionated.. A Feminist some would say. But we don’t know that.. Maybe she was just in a bad mood. Well, whatever the reason was… The King was not having it… ” How dare she tell me no? does she know who I am?” He was super drunk and super angry and he had her thrown out of the Palace thanks to the advice of his friends who obviously didn’t like her much.
Now I wish this was were the story ended but no…. In addition to throwing Queen V out of the palace, He made a rule that every woman had to obey her husband no matter what. 🙁 Now that’s where the first part of our story ends… What a damper to the epic party… I’m sure no woman in the kingdom wanted to party after this happened.
Now lets come back to real life: My thoughts were all over the place about this bible verse.. some supporting queen V, some others not so supportive.
Here’s what I think.
- I don’t think queen Vashti was a bad person: We weren’t told so much about her so I cant prove this, but I don’t think the fact that she said no to her husband made her a bad person.
- Marriage is between 2 people but there are external stakeholders involved. While a lot of us may not like this, its the reality of life. No man is an island. Your spouse has family, friends, enemies, colleagues, etc. Based on this bible chapter, I learnt that you shouldn’t marry a man/woman who’s friends he listens to and these friends don’t like you. or whose family has an influence on him but don’t like you. Always have an advocate when it comes to marital issues. I don’t think the Kings friends liked Queen V very much.
- Dont make decisions when you are drunk, angry, excited or emotional. You’ll make the wrong decisions
- Stay away from people who are power-drunk or have fragile egos especially if you have a mind of your own. Stay in environments that will edify you not the ones that will bring you down.
- There will always be a backlash to strong women exhibiting their strength. It has always been and unless there’s a radical change, it will continue in the next generation. I see this happen around me alot. Whenever a woman takes a stance that men don’t like or agree with, then there’s a problem. I am not trying to bash men, neither am I saying women shouldn’t do this.. it’s just an observation.
- Gods power in making otherwise negative decisions turn for your good. Lets face the fact, Esther and Vashti were both married to a toxic but powerful man. They probably both didn’t have a choice (this is contestable). Wisdom and God helps to turn an otherwise negative situation for your good. Look, Wisdom is profitable to direct all.. sometimes i look at being Nigerian at this time to being in a not so good situation (perspectives i know) but making the best out of being Nigerian instead if complaining, ranting and just giving negative vibes is what i try to do. so why not look for ways to use what you have for something positive like Esther did.. How? Wisdom.
- Looking at how the king selected his queens based on beauty, should queen V not have expected this to happen? .. that the king would want to show her off.. or maybe it had happened and she felt like a piece of meat after and she swore to herself it was never going to happen again but didn’t communicate to the king… Maybe the issue here was communication.. I don’t know , i’m just guessing.
- We gain favor by being obedient. Its just a rule of life. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
- Lets flip the script a little. What if the king had every right to summon her to his party, In this scenario, Queen V dishonored her husband.
- As Christians, when making decisions, start with God before you move on to the council of men. Always ask for what God thinks before consulting with any man.
- As Christians, our lives is on blast for the world to see, judge, blast and emulate.
In conclusion, Maybe we shouldn’t feel bad for queen V, who knows maybe after she left the king, she found a man who valued her guts, beauty and brain.. yea not a man whose story we know about but a man she was happier with.. Esther became stuck with a husband she could only see once in a year.. lol.. another back story i created but if this is true then queen V didn’t loose much. In this way, God would have worked for her good. If it didn’t work out this way for her then I have no comment.
The difference between this earthly king and our heavenly father is that he always gives us a second, third, fourth and multiple chances.. no matter how many times we’ve said no to his call, disobeyed or ignored him, his grace is sufficient for us… both male and female alike. That’s my ultimate takeout from this chapter. Whats yours?