Inside the court of King Ahasuerus of Persia in about 450 B.C., the King throws an opulent bash for all of his servants and officials, including those from all the foreign provinces conquered by Persia. The King issues a royal edict for his guests to drink wine in abundance with “no compulsion”, meaning “no limits” or “go for it.” It is no-holds-barred, drink until you drop.
Not surprisingly, the King and his buddies get very drunk. The story then turns toward an “R” rating as the king calls for his wife Vashti to entertain the drunken crowd. According to the culture of the time, this demands some very sexually explicit behavior by Vashti in front of a very decadent crowd.
Inexplicably, Vashti refuses to humiliate herself at the command of her husband, an act unheard of in those times. She is immediately stripped of her title as Queen and a search is begun for a new queen, who will likely be condemned to do what Vashti would not. Ugh – great bedtime Bible story for your kids, right?
What makes Vashti risk her life to defy her husband? Could it be that God has seen enough of the ruler under whom his chosen people are enslaved? Could it be that God’s judgment on his children melts in his never-ending love for them and focuses on a decadent king? If so, is God about to place his children where they bring about their restoration to him?
It is not only the Jews who are under judgment by God:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
In Chapter 2, Mordecai’s adopted daughter Esther is swept away to the King’s palace by edict to compete for the title of the new Queen. Mordecai urgently commands her to never reveal her true identity as a Jew.
Esther is where God has placed her and she pleases the King more than all the other girls (I shudder to think what this involved). The King actually falls in love with her, and he names her his Queen, having no idea about her actual heritage as a Jew.
Mordecai overhears a plot to overthrow the King and tells Queen Esther, who informs the King, and the perpetrators are hanged. Mordecai is recorded officially as a hero for saving the King’s life.
But In Chapter 3, Mordecai, refuses as a Jew dedicated to God to bow in homage to Haman, for whom the King has commanded homage from all people. Haman, in a rage, declares to not only destroy Mordecai but also the entire Jewish people! God has now place Mordecai in an even worse place than Esther!
Come back next week for Part II to see what God does!
But this week, ask yourself whether you have been put in a difficult position because of God’s judgment against your guilt (we are all without excuse!), or perhaps because he wants to use you for a much larger purpose in his never-ending love to restore his children to himself through Jesus Christ.
Where has God placed you? Are you part of a bigger plan?
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 1:18–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.