Vashti by Scarlett Stough
Xerxes, king of Persia, brought all of his civil officials and military commanders to his palace in Susa. He needed their political and military support to plan and carry out his ill-fated campaign against Greece. * After six months of meetings, he held a seven-day celebration with everyone, high and low, in attendance. His queen, Vashti, hosted a separate celebration for the women.

On the seventh day, the king summoned his queen to show off her beauty to his guests. Vashti had a tough decision to make: Obey and be subjected to humiliation or worse by a roomful of drunken men brought up in a culture that treated women as property. Or disobey and risk the consequences of the king’s anger. Perhaps when she refused to go, she was hoping he would be too drunk to remember the next day.

If so, she was wrong.

The king called together all of his legal advisors. Wanting to please the angry king, they gave him the answer he wanted. Vashti must be punished. Her royal position must be removed from her.** Her sentence was announced throughout the kingdom. No woman must be allowed to think she had any right to resist the authority imposed upon her. Other women might follow Vashti’s example and their husbands, fathers, brothers, and rulers would lose control over them. Sadly, this attitude still prevails in many areas of the world today.

Although the loss of Vashti’s crown was a necessary step in the preservation of the people of God, the relationship between the king and queen revealed in this incident is in stark contrast to a loving godly relationship. The way King Xerxes ruled his family and his kingdom is in stark contrast to the way Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, rules his family and kingdom. 

*See the Zondervan NIV Study Bible Notes for Esther Chapter One.
**Some historians believe Vashti was restored to favor when her third son became king of Persia.

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Not So With You