2024_06_12 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Esther 1, Esther 2:1

Sometimes, it takes a courageous and dramatic stand to effect change. Even then, it doesn’t always work. We don’t know much about Queen Vashti except that, in this instance, she risked her position and life to stand up for herself and other women to be respected. She would have known that it was a risky move. Maybe she believed the other women would join her. Maybe she thought there would be public pressure on the King, and he would be ashamed of his misogynistic behavior. While we don’t know her motives, we do know that this was a showdown on a national stage. The king, sufficiently caught off guard and angry, immediately confers with his advisors for a “kingly response” to the insubordinate queen. All his advisors were men who not only witnessed the event but recognized the implications for their own marriages. One of the advisors, “Mimecan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17 Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18 Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.”  Esther 1:16–18 (NLT)

The king took this counsel to heart, and quickly Queen Vashti was banished forever (fortunately, she wasn’t executed!) Rapidly, a law was enacted to prevent any more similar episodes of so-called disrespect from wives toward their husbands. The actual decree that was published nationwide stated “that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.” Esther 1:22 (NLT)

When I read this and hear about similar attitudes of men toward women, it embarrasses me. I would like to think that if I had been in the king’s cabinet, I would have been the lone voice in treating women and wives with mutual respect and dignity. Reflecting on this further, there are many situations where a God-honoring stance is called for; like in the workplace- providing equal treatment regarding pay and opportunities for advancement. There are some places where this thinking would not be tolerated, and the mention of change would lead to being blackballed or fired. Would I be willing to do what is right, even if it meant risking my place in the organization? Am I a person of conviction or convenience? Queen Vashti’s example has me thinking.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor