Memucan’s Wise Counsel (Esther #3)

Text: Esther 1:13-22

Memucan understood there are several things at work here.  He understood the times, he understood how influences affect people, he understood the nature of rebels, and he understood what the home should look like.  Memucan is wise because he sees this event circumspectly, that is, from all the different angles that are going to cause problems for the king.  So he addresses each angle in his wisdom.

Leaders have a bigger view than day to day operation.  Sometimes that’s good, other times you need to know details of day to day operations.  But when it comes to complaints about decisions leadership makes, it’s generally from folks who don’t see all the sides of the event that the leader sees.  They can’t see the thing circumspectly, the big picture so to speak.

He understood the times (vs 13)

  • There is something to be said for where you are and when you are.
    • That has fascinated me about the Bible that it is timeless and limitless.
  • Understanding the times meant he knew what ought to be done in the situation.
    • The men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32 were men who understood the times and it was said of them they knew what Israel ought to do.
  • Solomon said there are seasons and that there is a time to every purpose.
    • Season describes the time it takes to accomplish a purpose
    • Time to be born – 9 months after conception, time to die, when the spirit returns to God and the soul is separated from the body, time to….
    • Proof is made from season to season
      • Wheat and tares – things are revealed for what they are.  Sometimes things look like one thing at an early age, but grow up to be completely different.  The thing that proves them is time.
      • Paul told Timothy to let the younger men be proved first.  What’s that?  That’s time and seasons doing their work on a young man to reveal strengths and weaknesses.
      • Times determine the tools you use
      • If you went out and disked during harvest you would ruin your crop.
    • Times also determine your priorities.
    • There are three things in the Bible that are not limited to times or seasons
      • Preaching has no season – 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
      • Prayer has no season.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.  Paul says again, praying always.
      • Personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Memucan understood the times.  Memucan is wise because he sees this event circumspectly, that is, from all the different angles that are going to cause problems for the king.  So he addresses each angle in his wisdom.
  • Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
    • When Paul applies this to Christians he says a circumspect walk gives you the ability to redeem time through understanding of what needs to be done according to the will of God.
    • So it is with Memucan’s wise counsel which will give the king opportunity to redeem his time and address quickly what needs to be addressed to move on.

He understood influences (vss 16-18)

  • What Vashti did was not just rebel against the word of the king, but she set a bad example for all to see.
  • Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
    • That means you have to guard your influence.
    • In leadership, overseeing many, sometimes you have to guard others from someone’s else’s influence.
    • Because people have choices to make, and because none of our future decisions have been written yet, influence is critical.
  • Vashti had a very visible influence (vs 16)
  • Vashti would have a corrupting influence (vs 17)  Her example encouraged selfish rebellion.
  • Vashti influence would have unintended consequences (vs 18).  Contempt and wrath would rise in the kingdom.  Now Vashti has no intention to rise up and overthrow the kingdom, she just doesn’t want to obey the king.

He understood rebels (vs 19)

  • Public rebellion rebuked publicly.
  • She’s no good.  Unpardonable.

He understood the home (vss 20-22)

  • Memucan almost quotes verbatim what Paul says in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians.
  • He sees that if left unchecked by the king, the women will ask if the queen doesn’t have to obey the king why should I obey this bum I’m married to?  Then they’ll proclaim what great liberty they have and start demanding Women’s Rights.  What will be sacrificed are the homes as they are busted apart.  The children as they become an obstacle to Women’s Rights.  And the peace, joy, love all suppose to be found in the home, in the order of marriage, will all decay into chaos.
  • The point is companionship and support.  Differences are complementary, not competitive.
  • When the order of the home is broken down, and when people don’t stay in their lane so to speak, the breakdown is contagious and pervasive.

This piece of advice to curtail the rebelliousness of the queen will serve as the impetus and opportunity for Esther to rise to the throne.  It’s the first in a series of providential events that leads to the salvation of God’s people.