"But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him." Esther 1:12
The great banquet hall was extravagant to say the least. There were exquisite white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine purple linen on silver rods and massive marble pillars from floor to ceiling. The couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic backdrop of alabaster and turquoise. Black and white marble floors ran throughout the palace and prestigious statues made of other precious stone adorned this great hall.
Drinks of fine royal wine flowing in abundance were served in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other showing the generosity of the king. He had given orders to all the officers of his household that every man should do according to each one's desire; nothing being off limits.
It was noted that Queen Vashti entertained the wives of these officials her husband was hosting with a great feast in her quarters. Many being in attendance.
"Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus." (Es. 1:9)
King Ahasuerus was a powerful king reigning over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. This celebration took place during the third year of his reign and spanned a time of approximately six months. The banquet was a closing celebration lasting seven days with all of his officials and servants and the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him.
He was a grand 'show off' and the king loved to boastfully display all of his estate to those who were in attendance. He was a powerful man and was always eager to flaunt what he owned to anyone who would listen.
As the feast went on for many days and the copious amounts of wine was served it is thought that King Ahasuerus, being drunk, got into a discussion of whose wife was most beautiful, with the other princes and nobles. The king, not to be out done knew that Queen Vashti, being beyond exquisite in beauty would surely prove them wrong. He made a public announcement at this event that the Queen would be making her appearance. His seven servants, eager to bring her before him and all who were present at the men's party, wearing nothing but her crown.
Queen Vashti thought differently about this command and refused to oblige her husband, knowing that it could be a trap she did not want to get caught in. She was intelligent and she knew the room was filled with drunken men which caused her fear and embarrassment even though she knew what it meant for her to disobey the king's command.
When word of her eluding his command reached the king he was furious, for she had made him out to be a fool. Through the persuading of his court officials and his drunken state he hastily made the decision to banish her from his court, stripping her of her crown and disgracing her. Queen Vashti's decision ended in her being used as an example of what would happen when a wife was disobedient.
"When the king's decree, which he will make, is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small." (Es. 1:20)
The theme of this story is:
~God is the only One who holds absolute power; no one has power over another.
~Communication is key in any relationship.
~Respect for another is valuable.
~Sometimes the hard choices are the right choices.
~Modesty is a virtue.
Queen Vashti was thought to have been banished to a back room of the palace out of sight of any acquaintances or visitors to the royal family. She chose to respect her person instead of being played as a trophy wife, holding to her morals and in doing so losing her comfortable lifestyle.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, I love to read the history of the people of the Bible. I may not connect with them in their lifestyle but I can learn from their choices; standing up for yourself; having morals and obligations to those around you and respecting others. Thank You for these lessons and how each story leads to the fulfilling of Your will. Amen.