September 9 2014
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[ DATE : 2014-09-01 ]
   Rejected by the King   Esther 1:1-12
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This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush:
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At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,
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and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.
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For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty.
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When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king's palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest, who were in the citadel of Susa.
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The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones.
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Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king's liberality.
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By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.
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Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
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On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him--Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas--
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to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.
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But when the attendants delivered the king's command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Pomp and Pride (1:1–9)
The book of Esther opens with a king who has much and is determined to show off just how much he has. The sole purpose for this celebration is to display “the splendor and glory of his majesty,” and so we are given details of an epic party that surpasses all others in decoration and duration and spares no expense. Little has changed in this day and age. Those who have money feel an innate need to show everyone how much they have. Whether it is the car they drive or the clothes they wear, they long for the attention that wealth and status attract. However, pride and greed have insatiable appetites, and no matter how much you have, you are left wanting more.

We are blessed to be a blessing. Do you use what God has blessed you with to bless others? Ask the Lord to make you a conduit of His grace.

Risk and Rejection (1:10–12)
At the height of the festivities, the king summons his wife. She is to be the final showcase of his envied possessions—Queen Vashti, whose very name means “best” or “the desired one.” She refuses to appear, infuriating the king and shaming him before his guests. It is obvious that the king views everything he possesses—including his wife—as mere objects that should always be at his disposal, ready to be enjoyed at his whim. What a great danger it is to have so much that we begin to view even people as objects. Yet we live in a world where this is happening all around us. Many women and children are still treated as worthless things to be exploited instead of being valued as souls created in God’s image.

Do you engage in any practices that objectify people around you? Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart so that you might see each person as God sees them.
Lord God, You are the giver of all good things, and all things are from You, for You, and to You. Let me use all You have blessed me with to bless You and others, and may I see those around me as precious souls in need of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.