There’s an Opening (Esther 1:1 – 22)

The story of Esther is one of the most read and preached stories in the Bible.  A Jewish girl, a captive in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, is given a powerful opportunity to save her people.  In the days of Ahasuerus, king over Persia and Media stretching from India to Ethiopia, he had a great feast for his officials and officers.  During this feast, he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom for one hundred and eighty days.  At the end, he made a feast lasting seven days in Shushan the citadel.  The setting was lavish, with fine linens, silver rods, marble pillars, couches of gold and silver, and a jewel mosaic.  They served in gold vessels.  Queen Vashti also held a feast for the women in the royal palace.  At the seventh day, the king called for Queen Vashti to come before the king in her royal attire and show her beauty to the people.  She refused and the king was furious.  He consulted his wise men to determine what should be done to her.  They determined she had not only wronged the king, but all his officials.  In order to set an example, Queen Vashti would no longer be allowed to come before the king, and her position would be given to another.  Letters were sent out of this decree in the law of the Persians and the Medes.

While this patriarchal story of a male-dominated society smacks of sexism and oppression, it is probably more important to note how God would take this situation of Vashti’s demise and use it for an opportunity to bless and protect His chosen people.  When Vashti was deposed as queen, it made an opening for someone else to ascend to a position of influence for good.  This is something we should look for in our own situations.  Whether you are a ruler or a subject, a person of authority or a servant, look for opportunities to be used by God.  If you take the chances God opens for you, you will possibly be able to save a life, or help someone find an opportunity.  Look for the openings God supplies for you, and move into them with courage and optimism!

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