Summary: Often times, we can make a decision and it will have a ripple effect. Vashti made a decision and it set in motion an incredible ripple effect.
I have often read about Queen Vashti and have felt that she does not get mentioned as much as she should. We often read the Book of Esther and focus on many important people, good and evil, in the book but we rarely talk about Vashti. It is her one decision to reject the earthly king's request that set in motion a chain of events that saved the Jews and is remembered by celebrating it during the festival of Purim. There is no small part in the Kingdom of God. There is no small decision when it comes to the things that pertain to God.
"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others" (Romans 12:4-5, NIV).
How would you respond in 1942 when Nazi soldiers came to your door and asked where your Jewish neighbors were? Would you tell them, and thus risk someone losing their life because of their religion? Would you plead ignorant and risk losing your life if found out that you lied?
How would you respond in 1942 your neighbor was Japanese, and they feared being put into an internment camp based upon their Japanese heritage? These are your neighbors, your friends, but America had just been attacked at Pearl Harbor by Japan.
How would you respond in 1855 if Harriet Tubman came to your door and asked if your house could be a safe house to hide the ‘run away’ slaves? Would you turn the slaves away because you did not want to break the law and you feared that if you got caught you might be found guilty and get punished? Would you allow your house to be used as a safe house and risk your own life for standing up for what you believed to be right in treating other humans with respect?
How would you vote, if there was an Immigration Act that barred a whole range of individuals from entering America? Immigrants were required to have a certain measure of literacy, financial security. They could not be feeble minded, homosexual, imbeciles, epileptic, alcoholic, poor, criminal background of any kind, prostitutes, etc. Mexican immigrants, legal or illegal, were forced or pressured to leave the US.
JEWISH TRADITION ABOUT VASHTI
According to Jewish tradition found in the Jewish text (Haggdah), Vashti was the daughter of King Belshazzar (DANIEL 5---writing on the wall). When Belshazzar was killed, (that night) Vashti was kidnapped and eventually given to King Xerxes as a wife. According to legends, there are multiple reasons Vashti refused to appear before the King when he ordered her to.
1. She was modest. He wanted her to appear nude and she carried a bit of modesty and felt it was inappropriate to parade around in front of others
2. She feared for her husband safety. She felt that since everyone was drunk, if she paraded around nude then the other men might try to have their way with her and a fight might break out.
3. She was older and wasn’t into ‘the games.’
4. Keep in mind, her rebellion against the sexual and social order could have been a result of her studying the Torah. She had Israeli slave girls.
Rarely in the book of Esther, do we see intelligent people make intelligent decisions. We rarely, if at all, see King Xerxes make a decision without first consulting his eunuchs or other despicable people (Haman). We see the most powerful make the most insecure decisions. Not once do we see a mention of GOD in the Book of Esther. Perhaps we are shown it in this manner to show us all the ways that mankind is foolish.
• (even though we know GOD is at work, perhaps we are not privy to HIS presence in a way to show us how stupid we are WHEN WE DON’T FAST, PRAY, AND SEEK WISE COUNCIL.)
• Perhaps we are shown that earthly power and all those who appear to be in control are not truly in control.
• Possible this shows that underneath it all, God is still at work. It is not that God wants to hide HIMSELF from us, but HE wants us to see events unfold according to HIS plan. It is almost as if we are watching a play unfold. We know the ending, but GOD wants us to see how ALL THE PARTS UNFOLD IN THE PLAY. Don’t just focus on GOD, BUT ALSO LOOK AT MAN’S ACTIONS IN THIS STORY.
o DIVINE PROVIDENCE—Everything worked together to save the Jewish people.
? The drunken parties
? Queen Vashti disobedience
? Haman wicked motives
? Esther’s beauty
? Mordecai wisdom