Esther 1 Commentary
Perfection is not for mortals. We have seen the best and the worst from the Kings of Israel. Some Kings of Israel were godly and left us an example of an obedient walk with the LORD. Now the Bible gives us a picture of what a pagan palace looks like. From the palace complex of Susa, King Xerxes displays unchecked excesses in vanity.
Pride is in full control. Xerxes sets up a one-man expo. Let the world of the living see my greatness. He decrees six months of partying for everyone in the capital, important and unimportant alike. The partying is only disturbed when he decides to put his own wife on display. Isn’t the reader shocked by a King who wants his own wife to be part of his expo objects?
Xerxes is enraged when Queen Vashti refuses to show up. What must be done to her? What does the law of the land say? The Bible is drawing our attention to the comparisons between the godly palace of Nehemiah and the pagan palace of Xerxes. In moments of crisis, Nehemiah consulted the Law of the LORD. Xerxes consults the law of the land through the so-called wise men who understood the times.
Consequently, Queen Vashti is deposed and a search for another queen ensues. And that is how Esther comes into the picture. But that is for tomorrow.
I guess the saints are not too happy with the ruling here. But wait. Isn’t this ruling exactly what we find in the New Testament? Wives are commanded to respect their husbands? But isn’t the omission of a corresponding command to husbands to love their wives the real reason for our distaste? When the pagan world selectively applies the Law of the LORD, the result is distaste, imbalance, and injustice. It is never righteousness, regardless of its attractive color.
The law that every man should be ruler over his own household is great but the omission of another law that Christ should be ruler over every man is yet another source of problems. The chain of command doesn’t end at the mortal male man but the immortal man Jesus Christ.
A woman who subjects herself in marriage to a man whose leader isn’t Christ has the Vashti-kind of life. It is always shaky, regardless of the material gains. Isn’t this chapter telling the saints just how the world is missing the rule of the Christ?
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