Lessons for life from the Bible – Day 3
Who was Vashti?
Looking at the lives of some of the lesser known personalities in the Bible is a fascinating exercise. Some are role models to this day. Others are perfect examples of what we must guard against becoming. Then there are those whose lives reveal how God works through their decisions to safeguard his people. Such a person was Vashti.
Vashti was married to King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) who ruled from India to Ethiopia. Three years into his reign, he invited all the nobles and officials from his entire kingdom, as well as the military leaders of Persia and Media, to a banquet in his palace. For a full 180 days, he wined and dined them as he showed off the vastness of his wealth and the pomp and splendour of his reign.
After which, he invited all the people from Susa (his citadel) to join his guests for a seven-day garden party feast.
It must have been the mother of all garden parties. The palace courtyard was specially decorated and furnished with gold and silver couches. Wine was served in unique gold goblets and everyone could drink as much as they wanted. (Esther 1:7-8)
On the seventh day, a very merry king ordered Vashti to be brought before him and his drunken guests. He wanted to display her beauty to them all.
Vashti refused point blank. The king was furious. He burned with anger at her disrespect for him. He consulted with his advisors and they agreed that her conduct was unforgiveable. The king deposed of Vashti as queen and banished her from his court.
Vashti’s act of defiance had far reaching consequences. Esther, a Jewess, became queen and Mordecai, her uncle, prime minister. She thwarted a plan to have all Jews exterminated. Instead, the king gave the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies. This they did and the Jewish race was preserved. Five hundred years later, God’s promise, that through Abraham’s seed all people on earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3), saw fulfilment with the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem.
God’s plan, that all people will be blessed through Jesus Christ, prevailed.