Golden goblets filled with endless supplies of royal wine, couches of gold and silver with marble pillars, fine linens, and extravagant display of wealth. It was the party of the century, drawing influential people throughout the Persian Empire, lasting 180 days with the grand finale being the queen’s entrance. But she opted out, saying “No, thank you” or maybe just “No!” We don’t know exactly what happened, but Queen Vashti refused to make an appearance leading to the ultimate embarrassment to the king and her elimination from the throne.
As we begin this study, there are already many unanswered questions. Why was Vashti defiant? Why did the king allow his advisors to decide her fate? Did they ever run out of wine? Inquiring minds want to know! I want to know.
What we do know from this first chapter of Esther is that God was setting the stage for a great story of deliverance and preparing the way for the people who would make it happen. The queen’s seat needed to be vacated in order to open the door for a new queen who would save her people. The end of Vashti’s reign made possible the start of Esther’s.
Without endings there would be no beginnings, at least not for Esther. What endings are needed in your life to make space to open the door for new opportunities and relationships?
“If it pleases the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.” (Esther 1:19 NRSV)