Hello Beautiful People!
Its amazing to see so many of you on board with the #EstherChallenge. For those that still don’t know what it is, don’t worry! The Esther Challenge is a 10 day challenge, where we read the 10 chapters in the book of Esther in the Bible for 10 days! It is not just about reading, I would love for us to share our understanding of what we have read with each other, so as you read, feel free to hashtag #EstherChallenge if you have twitter.
In addition, please email email@example.com with your notes for each chapter, or a summary and I will put it up on this blog page!
Hopefully this will be a new fabulous movement and we may be able to study other books in the Bible! You’ve probably heard me say this or tweet this before; I REALLY do believe that God will use ANY platform to make His word and glory known to the masses. He is the God of yesterday, now and tomorrow, the ‘I am, that I am’, He knows the latest technology and is ready to use it as long as He has willing vessels (US). So be the light everywhere, even on social media, you never know who is reading or who is touched by your encouraging words.
DAY ONE – CHAPTER ONE
I read this chapter in the New International Version and in The Message bible. I preferred The Message just because it was ‘reader friendly’ without losing the key bits of information and the context 🙂
In my journal I summarised this chapter with the title…‘WHAT A SHOW OFF”.
The key characters in this chapter for me were King Ahasuerus who I call ‘King Aha’ loool and Queen Vashti.
King Aha ruled over Persia for 3 years and He celebrated the third year of his reign with a 7 day banquet on top of his 180 days of showing off. He is depicted as a prideful man who loved His wealth and more importantly I love for others to see the splendour of his wealth (verse 3-7).
Verse 8 made me laugh because it reminded me of university students and their drink ups. The King commanded his guests to drink with no restrictions…I know some would be more than happy to attend such a banquet. Though this was funny, it was the following events that struck me in this Chapter.
The following events may not go down to well with some ladies.
Queen Vashti, King Aha’s wife also had a banquet for the ladies of the land, I assume that males and females weren’t allowed to mix together in public events because of the patriarchal context. The King wanted Queen Vashti to come to his banquet on the 7th day so that he could display her beauty to the people because she was ‘lovely to look at’ (Verse 10-11). For me this kinda shows a present day view on women. Sometimes, women aren’t seen as anything greater than a pretty face or reproductive being. The King wanted her to come to His banquet because she was just another ‘treasure, addition to his wealth, something good to look at’…
How many of you would have gone to the banquet, knowing that you were not going there to ‘celebrate’, rather you would be a live statue for people to look at and admire?
Queen Vashti refused to go to the banquet (verse 12) as I’m sure many of us would have done the same.
According to the custom of the women in that area of the world, it was improper for a woman to show her beauty to the public eye. Even today, there are women in the Middle East who go out in public with long robes and veils that hide all but their eyes. In some of those countries, a woman can’t even walk beside a man; she has to walk a few paces behind him! Some women, though, are so proud of how they look, they’d gladly show themselves off to others! But Queen Vashti wasn’t this type of woman. She was from Persia which is one of the Middle Eastern countries where the woman’s beauty is to be hid from the public eye. Queen Vashti didn’t want to go in there and show herself off before all those men! Yet, her husband wanted her to. I suppose he was very proud because of her beauty, wanting all the others to see his good-looking wife — but she wanted no part of it. Was she wrong?
The King thought so and after consulting his various advisers , He decided that Queen Vashti should be stripped of her title as queen, never to see Him again. He wanted this action to be a lesson to all other women in the land so that they don’t disobey their husbands in a similar way (verse 15-19. The chapter ends with His proclamation: every woman, regardless of her social position, will show proper respect to her husband…Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes.” (MSG Bible).
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED FROM THIS CHAPTER:
- Pride and being boastful can desensitise us from understanding how another person may feel about something. In the case of the King, he didn’t think about how his wife felt about being on display for all to drool at, he was too concerned with his image.
- Seeking wise counsel. It’s good to get counsel, if you get the right kind of counsel: godly counsel. The king went to ‘wise’ men, we don’t know if they were godly. All the same its reinforced something that I have said before, you can’t take advice from anyone, we must be careful.
- The submissive wife. Though we may agree with Queen Vashti’s actions, it is still important for wives to obey their husbands. Having said that, I believe we ought to obey them when what they desire us to do is not contrary to what God would us to do. An extreme example, if my husband asked me to kill someone…of course I wouldn’t do it, because God’s word overrides his word. Make sense. Ephesians 5:22-23, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body.
- Losing your position…the scripture, Obedience is better than sacrifice comes to mind with this one. To think that if Vashti had obeyed her husband she would still be Queen, but she sacrificed her position. If we relate this to our walk in Christ, let us be obedient in His word and stick to His will so that we don’t take on the position of an unreformed sinner when we are really sinners who have been made saints through Christ
WHAT EVERYONE DOING THE ESTHER CHALLENGE THINKS:
Well from what I read. King Ashasuaerus loved his kingdom and you can tell that he loved it so much that it was apart of his ego. Also the people who he was taking advice from sort of represents our world today, with men & their friends. That if they are friends with the wrong they will lead you to the wrong path. Chapter one also showed the culture they lived in. When they were saying what queen Vashiti would bring shame to the princes as well. I think that’s the part I don’t like. – Helen , @HelenandI
Okay the 1st thing was that the number seven is hightlighted a lot. I.e 7 days of feast, 7 eunuchs to get the Queen, the wise men who were seven princes. So that made me think of God because of the seven days of creation. so it is as if your husband is meant to be like..God in your marriage. In the sense that he guides you and supports in the way that God does. And that the way you treat your husband should be an example to others as this is how its meant to be in all marriages. So you should obey him as he is there to help you. A part that got to me but i dunno why was when it said that the king’s heart was “merry with wine”. Is this good or bad? – Kelfick, @KelfickAyenge
Chapter 1: the bible is solemnly based on obedience. There’s a quote that says, “when in rome act like a roman” the quote doesn’t literally means conform but adapt, queen Vashti knew what her husband(the king) wanted but she refused him totally, in a way she broke his ego because she was he’s pride. In a way I do not blame the queen for declining because the bible says “the king was merry with wine”, but as a wife, she should have been a lot wiser with the way she went about it, she could have obeyed him, but later after everyone had gone, told him how she felt about it. I’ll link this to our relationship with God, a lot of women this days forget the king we serve, they forget his commandments, I cast my own stone aswell. Do we obey God’s commandment or do we just let life teach us a lesson? There was a reason God created Adam first and eve after, a lot of women including me go with this quote “I’m independent I don’t need no man” even after some women are married, they DO NOT allow there husband to control the house, they are so stuck in there miss independent ways and forget what the bible says about wife obeying their husbands. Now to the king, in my opinion I do not think he was advised properly, a good advisor should be wise, the bible didn’t state why the queen refused but she might have had a valid reason. Both men and women need to be careful when seeking advice, some people do not want to see us progress so they advice us wrongly, and some people might be spiritually foolish, so we all need to be careful when it comes to seeking advice, because it could lead you to doing things we could regret, I have been a victim of wrong advice and I had to learn the hard way. So in conclusion obedience is vital! Everything A-Z in the bible is based on obedience and love. I pray God gives us the spirit of obedience and the spirit to do the right thing at the right time. God bless! – Adesola, @Ade_love9
Heya lovely, Below is my study of tonight’s Scripture. I’m so excited about this challenge! Although I’ve read every chapter in the Book of Esther, I’ve never thoroughly studied it. Thank you for the initiative! May you be blessed as you continue to bless us! What’s interesting about the life of Esther is simply the uniqueness of favour she finds in God. As we discover her story we see and can acknowledge that her steps could only have been an ordained alignment by God, as there is no other sign of this woman seeking anything aside from to honour Him.Chapter one is the unravelling consequence of disobedience. Queen Vashti is to be cast from the Palace because of her refusal to comply with the King’s order. Having embarrassed him, the King is overcome by shame, and ultimately what we see is a man whose ego has been sabotaged, he must retaliate in a way that prevail and restore his honour.He is afraid (or rather understands) the implication of a woman’s denial of her husband’s request: it will filter through cities and beyond. And God forbid women assume that it is OK to dishonour their husbands. The King has to expedite his action. He must redeem this breaking of law by not only removing the Queen, but also by finding ‘another who is better than she’ (verse 19 ESV).
And so Esther’s journey begins…-Aurélia, @PearlAurelia
‘Refuse to be a Trophy wife, just for display for everyone to see’ –
So I’m gonna try and cut it down into bullet point form. The summary of chapter 1 to me is basically: Two wrongs DON’T make a right, they make a…divorce?
– The King Ahasuerus is having a second banquet to celebrate his ‘vain glory’ where he’s invited all his mandem around in the garden. Majority of his guys, including himself were presumably under the influence of alcohol (v8: ‘each guest was allowed to drink in his own way’ ), the way the bible has clearly pointed this out is almost setting the scene for a mishap ahead. Btw, I would question the Kings housekeeping here. Would you really freely open your wine cabinets to your guests for them to drink till they’re merry?
– Under the influence of alcohol ‘when the heart of the king was merry with alcohol’, he acted in a manner unlike him, unlike a king should behave when he knows he hasn’t got a clear mind. He sends for his Queen to leave her own women’s feast that she had going on to stand around and look pretty at his party, adding to his current pride and ‘vain glory’. One of the husbands role is to PROTECT the wife. He knew the customs of Persian women in that time, so it’s almost like he was pushing boundaries to have her show off her beauty amongst all his men. If he weren’t ‘merry with alcohol’ in the first place then he would have reasoned better?
– The WORST thing us ladies can do is publicly beat down our men whether verbally or physically through our actions. Queen Vashti definitely took a chunk out of her hubby’s ego by refusing to go. She tore him down with her disobedience because she didn’t want to put herself in that uncomfortable scenario. But seriously, what would YOU do? I mean, we are the ‘crown of our husbands’ right? What if the King genuinely wanted to just show off his beautiful bride, is that too much to ask for?
– Sometimes (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in line with God’s word) we gotta act FIST, then let our feelings catch up LATER. Queen Vashti should have obeyed her husbands orders then later at a more convenient time, sweetly confront him about his wrong motives earlier.
– imagine putting on a show for all your friends and the host, the main man, the party starter doesn’t show?! #embarrassed.com #leaveityeah
– Queen Vashti = EXAMPLE. Her actions definitely determined what the next generation of ladies would end up doing. Therefore action had to be taken. This bit of the chapter reminds me of the early church in Acts 5:2-10. Ananias and his wife sold land and brought back only a small amount of the money for offering, they lied to the pastor, lied to the spirit of God, in turn lied to God and refused to repent. Remember, this was the early church. This is when Satan wants to creep up and destroy every good work that is happening. The spirit of lying and deceit was creeping up into the church and God could NOT allow that to happen. That sin had to be cut off and judged immediately (they were both killed on the spot), before that same spirit is passed on to the congregation and people will start to think it’s ‘ok’ to lie to the man of God and hold back from God. In Queen Vashti’s scenario, her disobedience to authority and her husband had to be death with quickly, which meant sadly divorce. Verse 17-18 says the Persian and Median women will despise their husbands…there will be no end of disrespect and discord. The King couldn’t let that happen. Imagine a whole nation, turned backwards because of one wrong act from the Queen? Wrong doings will never go unpunished. So Queen Vashti is now making way for Esther to take her throne.
Boy, I write too much -Pearly Whites.xx
Although the writer of Esther doesn’t explain WHY Vashti refused to see the king, we can gather so many different things from the way she was portrayed:
1) She could have been prideful
2) She could have been drunk – just saying!
3) She could have simply have had enough of being the King’s prized possession
But the reason WHY her disobedience came about was simply irrelevant. She disobeyed her husband in front of so many people. It was very wrong for her not to obey her husband… It made things significantly worse as her husband was also the king.
From the description of this king, he doesn’t seem to have the characteristics of a Godly man. He was more concerned with flaunting his riches and filling his self with alcohol by the looks of it. It’s not all kings are prideful however, not all of them were concerned with the flashing of their riches and their wealth – i.e. King David. However it doesn’t limit the fact that 1) He is King and 2) He is a husband.
The way he wanted to present his wife was more like an object of possession rather than his rib, his other half, someone who he loved with all his heart. He seemed to want to display her as a trophy. This shows that their relationship was not based on mutual respect and love but rather for the eyes of the people.
However he still needed to be submitted to.
Consequences of her disobedience
It’s actually cringe worthy watching women publically disobey their husband in today’s society but in a society where women were heavily restricted this would have been completely uncalled for and it would have been very foreign to witness.
We definitely accept the reasoning the advisors gave the king. But we don’t agree with a divorce however. Yet we understand that as a queen she does have a significant amount of influence especially on the women of the provinces under her rule. It is very likely that there would have definitely been some kind of women’s revolt in the households in that province, lol. Therefore their reason for this action has definitely been justified.
We’ve identified however, the art of submission and we believe that this is the hidden message that that the writer was trying to show.
The art of submission
Submission is a beautiful thing and it’s realising that it’s an art that can be mastered that will transform a woman’s approach to it. Submission also becomes easier when you’re submitted to God yourself. It makes it easier to submit to your husband, especially if he’s submitted to Christ! The order which God established in Ephesians 5 (God – Christ – Husband – Wife)
Whether your husband is a Godly man or not, there still needs to be submission. 1 Peter 3:5 shows that a woman’s behaviour can win her husband over! Imagine your husband has been treating you so badly and then you actually love on him… Just imagine the day that God reveals his heart to him? He would be so overwhelmed by the way you loved him and it would just remind him of the way Christ lives him! We have to be Christ like about our actions!
Imagine Christ loved based on condition? We would actually be FINISHED. First class ticket to eternal damnation, the LOT of us. But He doesn’t! We need to break that carnal mentality of tit for tat.
The fear of submission
People view submission as a lifelong prison sentence, and feel like they’re becoming like a servant. However it takes looking at Vashti’s example and seeing that her submitting could have reduced a lot of problems. It enables there to be peace in your marital home. When you try and be the man in your marriage you’re stepping outta your role as his help mate and not his leader.
Submission isn’t making you weak! It requires and amazing admirable type of strength to submit… You’ll be stronger than you think J
Is submission REALLY that bad?
NO!! Submission is a natural response to loving leadership.” –Heather Lindsey
It’s not as bad as the world make it out to be. Submission doesn’t make you less of a woman; neither does it reduce your stance and your opinion. It enables
We have so many opportunities to submit before we enter marriage… we’re supposed to firstly submit to God (James 4:7). We can submit and serve our family and friend. We sincerely need to renew our minds from the feminist stigma of serving and submitting to our spouse. It’s REALLY not that bad. It would not make your husband disrespect you as people may like to think.
Comparing back then and modern day
Putting this in a modern view, there’s one word for this: degrading. I can just imagine a celebrity throwing a lavish party and all these guys are just there getting drunk and high and then boom, he sends someone to bring his wife just to parade her to the boys. Urgh. Too much misbehaviour right there!
But the one thing is submission still stands. Women are to obey their husbands. They are not to be disrespectful and they are to understand that he is their head. With them honouring their part, he will also give her the reverence that she deserves – no matter how long it will take.
Something that we are privileged to have in this generation is the ability to talk. The ladies in Esther’s lifetime most definitely didn’t. We’re in a position where we can talk to our husbands and we can gently raise our concerns in private and without humiliation!
Vashti’s disobedience was her downfall. She was stripped of her royal standing because of her disobedience (abit like Saul!) and she quickly became the example of what NOT to be. Although we can assume that the king failed to treat her correctly it was her place and her part to submit to him – not humiliate him.
We need to remember that even if we feel mistreated or they’re not “getting it right”, we need to grace our (future) husband. They’re not going to be 100% and neither are we, but we’re going to get there! Imagine God had no grace on us and belittled us because we weren’t getting it right? We may be in a position where our husband is completely getting on our nerves or we may feel he’s mistreating us. We still need to give him the respect and love that is due. And it doesn’t work on a conditional basis. Even if we feel like he doesn’t give it to us, we still need to give it to him… our submissive and gentle conduct could just win him over. J
@GenieBaybee and @PSoulflower
When dealing with a partner use wisdom.
I am not one to personally champion submission in women, but Vashti is a case of a woman who lacked wisdom.
Ladies, if you was having a feast, a rave, houseparty, bbq, cookout etc. and it lasted up until 7 days and when you politely and merrily asked him to come and join you in all of your merriment and joy he said no, how would you feel?
It’s just unfortunate that Vashti did what she did, as women in the rest of the Kingdom suffered also at King Xerxes hand (every man should bear rule in his own house), which could have been the solidification of Patriarchy as we know today.
This also brings me to address couples in the limelight or of influence.
Yes it’s unfortunate how being in the eye of society is part of our everyday lives, but that’s just the way it is, hopefully things may one day change.
But for now, take measure as to how you handle your domestic life as it really just does not effect you.
The domino theory applied to relationships lol.
I dunno about you, but when I see Michelle and Barack’s relationship, I feel inspired. Not because they’re just pretty and black, but mainly because of the position that Michelle holds.
She is a wife, but she still holds her independent power, she seems far from being dependent on her husband. In fact it could be heavily argued that Barack would not be where he is right now if not for Michelle’s support.
Modern day amazon in my eyes… She just didn’t eat her husband.
What I also gathered from Chapter of the book of Esther, was that, maybe if not for the advisers that Xerxes had around him, would all that had passed had happened.
I always see guys complaining about how girls allow their single friends to get involved in their relationship, well I got news for the guys…. YOU DO IT TOO
I can talk from personal experience of having male friends and being on the receiving end of a partner’s bad friends, that being careful with the company you keep is vital for your relationship.
If you’re always flirting with others and demeaning your partner’s sex, then how are you meant to have a successful lasting relationship?
Well, I’m done on Chapter One ^_^
Hope you enjoyed 🙂
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that The Obamas have a perfect relationship. No one does – Maria, @GoldynLoves
http://tmblr.co/Zcra0ydkdRV_ – link to @_lozzah_ ‘s blogpost
Esther showed obedience to Mordecai who was her cousin but was like a father to her. The word commands us to honour our mother and father so that we may live long in the land the Lord our God has given us (from Exodus 20:12). This could be the reason why she had the power to save Mordecai. By obeying God and showing honour to her ‘father’, God’s favour and grace has shone through.
Many of us today, may not have respected Moordecai as Esther did seeing as he’s not actually her father. We like to be rebellious with a “but are u mum tho? Leave it yeah” kinda attitude LooL. We could learn from Esther in this case by practising humbling ourselves when it comes to higher authorities such as this. – Derin, @Derrimilk
Chpter 1:22b…(The message)”Every man is the master of his own house,whatever he says,goes!
Ok!,this is a real and vital passage which should be taken with much delicacy. I must say that the doctrine of those days are very different from that of today, so I have to conclude in every language that Queen vashti. wasn’t just disobedient but also had her Ego to feed, She didn’t want to be embarassed or look like a cheap Object for a show off,she was a Persian who didn’t want to be reckoned. With such act,but I guess she forgot that as a queen of such large provinces she was seen as a top role model for every woman.
Moreover,in those days, the women had no say in a matter,one even had to be summoned into the presence of the male before she could communicate.,people may regard. Queen Vashti as wise or even as one with integrity but I totally disagree..as at that period her husband..represented the ‘god’ in her life..he definitely had the power to imprison or to kill her even..that alone should have made know her stand not as a Queen only but as a wife of one who had an authority of many provinces.
But in all,God in his own wonderful way turned the situation around for good,he was in it, the bible makes us to understand that he owns the heart of kings…he was in it all along preparing the way for our darling girl Hadassah to begin her journey to Deliverance,Greatness and royalty..from the shadows of life! @saved_nicolee