Esther 1: Are We Obedient to Our King?
All right! We have made it to the book of Esther which will be our 17th book together. Obviously, we are going to start in chapter 1 where we find a royal celebration going down, and a king named Ahasuerus was in charge. He was a very powerful man, ruling a very large kingdom, and he also had a very beautiful wife named Vashti.
He wanted to show her off to all the people and let them see how beautiful she was, but she refused to go out in public, so the king was left with a little bit of a dilemma. He didn’t know what to do and what kind of action he should take, so he talked to his princes.
Est 1:15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
Est 1:16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
Est 1:17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
Besides the obvious questions that could come up about the role of women in this society and whether or not that is right, I want to take a little bit different perspective because you can read about that in plenty of other places.
I want to show something from verse 16. When the queen did not appear before the king, the prince Memucan said that she was not just harming the king but also all people in the kingdom by destroying the traditional relationship between men and women.
Again, I’m not going to engage with the issue of that cultural practice here, but what if we think about this verse with God being our King and, as Christians, we are the disobedient queen?
God has something that He wants us to do as well as a way that we should live, and we can be stubborn. We can say that we are going to do it, but when other people see us as professing Christians who aren’t willing to do the work of God, we start to have discipline problems everywhere else.
These things come from other Christians who might say, “Well it was okay for him to do it, so I guess it is okay for me,” or these might even come from those outside of Christianity who would say something like, “I don’t want to be a Christian if they are all like her.”
In either situation, we are kind of doing what the prince was worried about in Esther. People will take what we do as representative of Christianity, but if we aren’t living in the right way, we are putting forth a bad testimony.
I hope that we all can think about this in our day-to-day lives. I’m not advocating for works-based salvation, but I am saying that if we are Christians, we need to act like it and remain obedient to our God.
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.