Devotions

Dignity & Dismissal

I’ll be honest with you.  This week was supposed to be Esther, and while I do believe Esther is a #GirlBoss of her own right, her story begins with the Queen – Vashiti and I couldn’t leave her out. Let’s visit chapter one of Esther. 

The King is throwing a party! This isn’t any ordinary party, THIS party includes the military brass, princes, and governors of ALL the provinces he ruled – 127 of them from India to Ethiopia. This isn’t your 3-hour gifts, games, and cake kinda party either. This party was going on for SIX MONTHS! I’m telling ya, they knew how to party back then! The best part? The last week of the party everyone living in Susa – the Capital – was invited to the garden courtyard of the king’s summer house for a WEEKLONG party! Like EVERYONE.  

Come ON people! Can YOU imagine? I know I can! 

This wasn’t a couples party either – Queen Vashti was throwing a separate party for the ladies! No awkward mingling here, this was THE SISTERHOOD having a PARTY! 

Well, you know it’s all fun and games until it isn’t.  Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t go bad sooner… but on the last day of the party, after showing off his kingdom for 6 months, I guess the king had saved the best for last.  His Queen.  

Scripture says – on the seventh day of the party the king, high on the wine ordered his personal servants to bring him Queen Vashti in nothing but her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good looking. (Esther 1:10-11)

WHAT??? Was the king thinking?? Okay, it clearly states he wasn’t thinking – he was high on wine. But seriously? Even though she was the Queen, HE was the KING. End of story. The amount of pressure she must have felt at that moment. Can you imagine that? Appear before all the princes and governors and military brass naked? Bad enough, but AFTER they’d partied for 6 months. Um NO. Not ever, this was a complete breach of custom.

Have you ever been asked to do something that made your skin crawl, the hair stand up on your arms, sweat beads form on your neck or brow? Turn your stomach? Tremble? Have you ever had an anxiety attack? I’m thinking at that moment she must have felt the weight of the world… or maybe she was MAD. Furious. Downright ticked off at the king.  

Scripture doesn’t really say anything about what she felt. It just tells us what she did. 

Queen Vashti Refused. (Esther 1:12)

She refused the summons. She stood up for herself and the sisterhood and made a very bold decision. She jumps to the TOP of my #GIRLBOSS list. She had self-respect, character, boldness, and modesty! She accepted disgrace and dismissal and did not surrender her dignity.

Disobeying the king had huge consequences, especially in front of all the leaders of the provinces… Let’s see what happened.

And then the men bosses made an example out of her and permanently banned her from the King’s presence. I mean, they couldn’t have other women showing disrespect to their husband’s like the Queen did. They also sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in their own language “Every man is master of his own home; whatever he says, goes.”  Geesh, these guys were worried! (Esther 1:19-22)

Later, after the wine wore off, the King regretted what he did. (Esther 2:1-4)

Knowing the end of the story, I think it’s important to realize that Queen Vashti did the unthinkable, she disobeyed the King in front of all the leaders. Where did she really get that courage from? Did it come from a week spent with the sisters talking trash about the men?  Did it come from the pride she felt in hosting her own party for the ladies, or in her beauty? Only God really knows, but I think it came from God. 

Knowing the lineage of Christ and knowing that Esther was born for “such a time as this” we know that Queen Vashti had to go. Sometimes God surrounds us in such a way that lovingly moves us, whether we want to or not.  There isn’t much written about what really happened to Queen Vashti, it’s possible she stayed near the King, just not as the Queen. 

Dear Sister, 

Where do you need to stand your ground? What areas in your life are getting a little blurry? Are you afraid to stand on God’s word, because of pressure from your friends? Family? Co-workers? Ponder Queen Vashti today and how God made sure we knew her story. Just a few paragraphs before one of the most popular stories in the Bible but it’s there for YOU to draw strength from. For such a time as today! 

Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for loving us enough to divinely include Queen Vashti’s story. A powerful example for us to follow. Father help us, as sisters to respect ourselves, our bodies and to stand up in situations we know we should. For it is better to lose in the moment than to lose our soul. Help us to stand together, united, showing kindness, gentleness, and love to each other.

Amen

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