Text: Esther 1:1-9
The book of Esther is named for the woman hero in this story. Esther does not contain God’s name mentioned. Neither does Song of Solomon.
How the world records history versus actual history. Esther and Mordecai rise to the very top of the food chain politically in a massive empire. Yet no run of the mill, mainstream, archeologist or historical scholar can find any evidence of them. Kind of like Egypt who has no history books about the Red Sea crossing and can’t seem to find any information supporting it. Joseph, second to Pharaoh in Genesis, according to secular history doesn’t exist. Daniel, the most prominent politician in one of the most powerful empires in the world, yet according to historians his existence is questionable. And we can go on and on. So what you have is history recorded in the Bible and an alternate history promoted by unbelievers.
This is the original Cinderella, Snow White, type story. Esther contains deep state conspiracy, genocide, a climactic twist of events, an orphan turned unlikely hero, a global beauty pageant, great wealth, deposed queen, and tragedy turned to triumph. So the fairy tale themes that have been retold by authors of books and portrayed in movies are Biblical themes that connect to human emotion. Where the textbooks can’t find evidence of real history, the fairy tales keep the stories going. Can you imagine a historian who can’t figure out who the queen of Persia was at the height of its glory? Either you really don’t know how to do your job or you’re a part of the cover up. Either way, you’re unreliable.
Tonight we’ll begin with the state of Persia at its height as an empire. See the fracture in the palace because of a scorning queen who soon becomes a deposed queen. And we can learn something about discontent as it ignores all the blessings around it.
Now, very many sermons have been preached on why Vashti is a model of modesty because she refuses the king’s request. But that reads into the story things that aren’t there and ignores what is plainly said. Second, the contrast of queens Vashti and Esther show the victory of humility in Esther over the defeat of pride in Vashti. It will be a contrast of two queens.
Scorner ignores opportunity (vss 1-2)
- The height of the Persian empire that spanned from India in Asia to Ethiopia in Africa to Greece in Europe and everything in between.
- 127 provinces of different people, languages, currencies, etc. The US is 50 states in comparison.
- Scorner is ungrateful, ever satisfied but always contentious.
Scorner ignores generosity (vss 3-6)
- This is Ahasuerus says there is more than one Ahasuerus, so the Lord identifies the one he’s talking about.
- He is a good leader celebrating his people and their service to him.
- 1:3 he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants
- 1:5 he made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace.
- So he celebrates his cabinet members and their staffs as they conduct affairs over the 127 provinces. This celebration goes on for 6 months. So he’s probably having different ones in every week or month for the 6 months time. Then he celebrates the people directly around him, small and great, in the palace, for a week.
- These are appreciation ceremonies, so he is a leader that produces loyal followers and a general spirit of gratitude, appreciation, and opportunity.
- No doubt he is building support among the ranks of his people.
- Scorner is ungrateful
- The poison of ingrates – Romans 1 neither were they thankful
- God can’t use it even if He’s given it to you because of your attitude about it.
Scorner ignores liberty (vss 7-8)
- …that they should do according to every man’s pleasure. The idea is, enjoy yourself. It’s all on the house. Ahasuerus has it covered.
- Yes, this is a Gentile king serving alcohol at an enormous gala. No one is forced to drink anything and everyone can pretty much do as they please.
- Contentious have a way of ruining everything no matter what the situation.
Scorner ignores boundaries
- Not only does Vashti ignore what her husband is doing, but puts on a rival party in his royal palace. Notice the little note from the holy spirit there in verse 9 that tells you Vashti used that which belonged to king Ahasuerus.
- Contention is that aggressive selfishness.
- Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
- Proverbs 27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
- Proverbs 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. There is no fire if there is no fuel. But a contentious person provides the fuel.
Solution to scorning
- Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.