To me, it doesn’t make sense. Absolutely senseless, but God had other plans you see.
So here’s the inside scoop. Esther 1.
We are introduced to Xerxes, great king of Persia. He decides to throw a party that puts to shame whatever you think a party should be. I used to think that Nigerian weddings were on a class all by itself with the over-dramatization in color, merriment, and procedures but in comparison to what Xerxes did for his nobles, officials, and the people of the fortress of Susa, Nigerian weddings don’t even scratch the surface. This dude had couches made of silver and gold, golden goblets in which no two guest had the same design, and refreshments customized to each attendee in quality and quantity. And this “banquet” (yes, the bible audaciously calls this a banquet) lasts for just 187 days. Now a quick Google search shows that 6.25 months is the usual amount of time to plan a wedding, not actually throw a mere banquet. Long story short, King Xerxes certainly made it rain.
Now I guess that by the 30th night or so, Queen Vashti probably got tired of hearing the men cackle and laugh with glee, as their voices floated to her chambers every night that she too wanted to get in on the fun too, which is probably why the bible states “At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes”. It makes sense…ladies got to party too, right?
Well, surprisingly, Mr. Xerxes must have had way too much to drink that the wine got him in “high spirits”. And like any alcoholic drink, this wine that had been congested for seven days straight in abundance, expectantly got to his majesty’s head, making a demand that probably would not be the norm if he was sober:
“…he told the seven eunuchs who attended him… To bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman”.
Now I can see two types of responses that most readers could have towards this. One party may admire Xerxes and how much he must have admired his wife that he was willing to show her off to the world. After all, you don’t brag about something you’re not proud of. However, the second party would regard this as a misogynistic move, with King Xerxes viewing his wife as an object of entertainment, there to just be aesthetically pleasing to him and his friends whenever he pleased. And it’s likely that the Queen must have viewed the unusual request from her husband through the lens of the latter party, because she too did the unexpected: she refused.
A woman turned down the man who reigned 127 provinces! Talk about #gutsy, #nofear, and #danggirl!
Consequently, Xerxes gets furious and forever banishes Queen Vashti from his presence.
I roll my eyes at verse 21 when it says “The king and his nobles thought this made good sense…” because a permanent decision was made on the foundation of a drunken stupor. Vashti realized this and decided that she would stand for herself and not jeopardize her dignity, nor tarnish her value in order to stroke an ego heightened by intoxication. But she knew it was a risk and she took it.
Why is any of this important?
I illustrate this to encourage you, my reader. We live in a world that doesn’t make sense. It may seem like lunacy runs our world, but let me point you to the Master of it all who is sane as sane can be: the big G-O-D. He sees you and certainly is aware of the stupidity that goes on, but not to worry because He will use it all, crazy and sensible, for your good.
You see, even though it didn’t make sense that Vashti was banished, reading the rest of the book of Esther shows that Vashti had to be banished to create an opening for the next queen, Esther, and Esther had to be queen in order to save God’s people from the hands of evil Mordecai. It was all part of God’s plan. What may seem stupid now will eventually all make sense. The dots eventually connect and a time will come when you will look back at these insane times and realize that you had to go through now for “…such a time as this.”