Monday Memo – Vashti
Queen Vashti is a profile in courage often overlooked in Scripture. She is a central player in the book of Esther and one of the most courageous people in the Bible. She is a model for women today and a strong guardian of modesty and morality.
Her story begins in Esther 1:10 when a great period of feasting and partying is coming to an end. The king has invited nobles from near and far to the capital city of Susa. For 6 months they have enjoyed his hospitality. Now, for a week, they have been drinking.
King Ahasuerus orders that his Queen, Vashti, be ordered to appear before him and his drunken friends “to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at” (Esther 1:11). Vashti would not. No matter the kings power and authority she would not prance around before the men to show off her beauty. In fact we see from this that Vashti possessed an inner beauty which was clearly put on display.
In Ancient days, the power of King was near absolute. For her rebellion she could easily have been killed (c.f. Esther 4:11). As a woman she had few rights. As one rebelling against the King, even less. Yet Vashti refused to put her body on display. As such we see a strong, courageous woman filled with honor, morality and modesty. For a complete contrast consider Salome (1)This woman is unnamed in Mark but is identified in the writings of the uninspired historian Josephus who was more than willing to dance before her step-father Herod, who in a drunken state called her before his nobles.
Perhaps by the providence of God Vashti’s life is spared but she is removed from being Queen. This makes way for another woman of courage, Esther.
All can learn from Vashti, men included. It takes courage to be modest and moral especially in our culture. But we need courageous people in the kingdom today!
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References ↑1 This woman is unnamed in Mark but is identified in the writings of the uninspired historian Josephus