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Summary: Queen Vashti teaches us a lesson of integrity in the face of adversity.

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Integrity Boshemity

Esther 1:1-22

Preached at the Laurel Church of Christ

On December 15, 2002

Introduction:

I. Just in case your boss catches you asleep at your desk, be ready to blurt out one of these answers.

A. They told me at the blood bank this might happen.

B. I was working smarter – not harder

C. Whew! I must have left the top off the whiteout.

D. I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance.

E. The coffee machine is broken…

F. This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!

II. What has happened to the value of a person’s word?

A. Today it is common for someone to have a lot of excuses.

B. It is even still more common that people do not take responsibility for their actions.

C. What we are seeing is loss of integrity and morality around us.

Body:

I. A Man is as good as his word

A. We remember as children our grandparents speaking the words, “A Man is as good as his word.”

1. I know my grandfather would say every once in a while, “I remember when I could trust someone’s word.”

2. What is happening today when instead of having a confrontation we instead tell someone what he or she wants to hear?

B. I know on many occasions. Especially in the ministry it is not uncommon for the following to happen.

1. Brian was door knocking. He didn’t much enjoy the work, but he remembered what others had told him.

a. You keep at it and sometime soon you will find someone interested in hearing the word of God.

b. He remembered the probabilities. One out of 6 people will be at home. One out of those 6 will desire to study the Bible.

c. But they never told him that one out of ten to twenty of them really wanted to study.

2. It is painful to get your hopes up and then be turned down a week later, because the people were not at home or they canceled the study all together.

C. With Benevolence work, outreach, and basically all ministries everyone sees that our society and even some Christians have lost the value in a true and honest statement.

II. The history of Queen Vashti

A. A banquet for the nobles (1:3-4)

1. The book of Esther has as its chronological setting “the day of Ahasuerus” which in secular history is King Xerxes.

a. Who is mentioned in the book of Daniel and other places

b. Scholars who do not believe in the Bible even claim that this book clearly portrays King Xerxes.

2. During the third year of his reign, Xerxes gave a banquet for his princes, military leaders and provincial officials.

a. This was no ordinary party, but a lengthy 180 day planning party.

b. Xerxes was working on conquering some more land, and to properly plan he brought all of his advisors for war together.

3. So Xerxes was readying for one of the greatest invasions of all time to avenge his father’s defeat.

B. A banquet for citizens (1:5-9)

1. At the end of the planning period, the king provided another party for seven days that included all citizens.

a. It was held on the grounds surrounding the palace.

b. The king ordered that all men could drink as much as they pleased and the king provided all.

2. Simultaneously, Queen Vashti was hosting a party for the women

C. The summons (1:10-12)

1. On the last day, drunken Xerxes sent for Queen Vashti.

a. She was to wear the crown.

b. Traditional Jewish interpretation understands this to mean that Vashti was to appear wearing nothing but the crown.

2. The king wished to put his queen on display

3. The queen did not come because of her moral standards.

D. The Consultation (1:13-20)

1. Four descriptions of the wise men

a. They were experts in Persian laws and customs

b. They were men “who knew the times”

c. They saw the face of the king.

d. They sat in first place in the kingdom

2. The king could not allow the disobedience of Vashti

a. Memucan says that Vashti’s actions were an offense to all the princes as well as to the king.

b. The women present with her would be persuaded to do similar things.

c. Which would result in plenty of contempt and anger

3. Therefore the council recommended the following

a. Banish Vashti forever from the presence of the king.

b. Give her royal position to another

4. This punishment they reasoned would cause all other women not to follow the example of Vashti

III. God Commands Integrity

A. Leviticus 19:35 "’Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.

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