Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lessons from Esther: The King’s decree

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. 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. 18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath. 19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small. 21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan: lo; 22 For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.  Esther 1:16-22

Vashti has refused the king. The king is furious, so angry, he cannot think straight.

Anger is a choice. Unfortunately a choice too many Christians make, anger can destroy friendships; marriages; as well as work places. Here are a few verses on anger to help with making good choices.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Proverbs 22:24

An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Proverbs 29:22

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Ephesians 4:26

Ahasuerus called all his “wise” men to help him make a decision. What should he do to the queen who disobeyed?

Memucan, one of the wise man spoke and said Vashti had not just offended the king but all the people in the provinces. Remember he was over 127 provinces; also remember this was before TV, newspaper or other public medium. How was this news to travel to all the lands?

Memucan was appealing to the pride of Ahasuerus. “O King remember how great you are and no one should dare offend you, not even your wife. Something must be done and the sooner the better.”

After a brief time the decision was made. Vashti would be “dethroned”, not just dethroned but a royal commandment; a written law would go into effect. Verse nineteen explains the purpose of the written law, “so it be not altered”. Once a law was made by the king and written down, nothing could change it.

The law was twofold, Vashti would no longer be the queen and all the wives would give their husbands honor and the man would be the ruler of his house.

John Gill’s explanation: “for so it was, that when a law was made, and signed, and sealed, and registered among the laws of the kingdom, it remained unalterable, this precaution Memucan took for his own safety; for had the king acted upon his advice, without passing it into a law in such form, he might change his mind, and recall Vashti, who would not fail of venting her wrath upon the counsellor, and so he be in danger of losing his life for it:”

The king had letters sent, all over his provinces, written in the languages of each area. There would be no excuse, everyone would know the law.

The next step, “let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she” would now begin.

Join me the next time as the “search” begins.

Have a blessed day,

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