Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.
15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”
16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
This may be a very early form of Women's Lib. The king is throwing this massive party, and after seven days of boozing it up, he sends for his queen. He wants to show her off. He tells her to wear her royal crown, most scholars think that was all she was to wear.
When we look at this, we realize that the king was not showing her off because he loved her. He was showing his friends what he owned- what was his.
Problem- the queen was having her own party during the festivities with her girlfriends. When the king sent his eunuchs, (castrated men,) to fetch her, she refused. (Good for her.)
This did not set well with the king. So in accordance with tradition, he consulted the "wise men" of the court. They had probably been partying for a week as well. They were not stupid. They knew the king could do whatever he wanted, but was looking for his "boys" to have his back.
They're judgement was that what the queen had done was not only wrong- but dangerous. What if all wives pulled this stunt, where would their respect be. So they suggested she be banished.
The lesson here is that Xerxes had complete control, he ruled with absolute authority. Was Queen Vashti in the wrong? Yes-and no. Yes, her husband could order her to come and she was obligated to go. She did have respect, she respected herself. For some bizarre reason she did not want to go pole dance for her husbands buddies.
1. What should Xerxes have done?
2. Why did the wise men do what they did?
3. Does courage and respect have anything to do with God?
Prayer- Lord, Give us the courage to respect ourselves. Help us remember that You have the control and all authority is yours. Go-Fight-Win. Amen