Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vashti--Revisit

Ladies,
I want you to know that I dreamed about Vashti last night. I always pray for greater understanding of God's word. And, in this particular case, Vashti has just posed a problem for me because I would have surely made the same decision as she.
So, I pondered and continued praying about her after our Talkcast last night. I think I'm coming to a better understanding. This more what I see:
  • Vashti and her husband were both under the influence of other people and other substances. Therefore, neither was making very good decisions at the time, nor in their relationship.
  • King Xerxes fell into a depression after the divorce/dethroning of Vashti. To me, this indicates remorse and regret over the situation. Which further indicates improprieties.
  • King Xerxes behavior toward Esther was RADICALLY different than his behavior towards Vashti. King Xerxes allowed the situation with Vashti to teach him about relationships. Esther was able to teach him about the appropriateness and Holiness of Matrimony
  • Vashti was dethroned, and her story is no longer recorded. The possibilities are endless...or finite. She may have been hardened by this situation. She may have continued to live fabulously beyond this situation.
Something tells me Vashti continued to live strongly. It takes a lot of strength to protect oneself against loved ones. In Michelle McKinney Hammond's book, she says that she believes that if Vashti had "submitted" and gone into to see the King and his cronies that God would have intervened.
Well, God did not intervene when it came to the woman who was repeated raped when her husband sent her out to the crowds instead of the Angels who were visiting. (Judges 19:24-26)
But, God did intervene when Sarah and Rebecca were wrongly given over to Kings' harems. (Gen 20:1-3) (Gen 26:6-8) I suppose what I am saying is this: I agree, God intervenes. There is more going on in God's mind than we could ever fathom.
Can we discount that God's way of intervening was to nudge Vashti not to go? What if God saw the possibility of irrevocable violence? What if by Vashti going through her dethroning, it allowed both King Xerxes and Vashti to learn life lessons that would save not only themselves...but a nation. (Remember, if Vashti had not declined her husband's invitation, Esther could not have become Queen and the Jewish nation would have been annihilated.)
Because of Vashti's declination, King Xerxes was forced to see the things and people that had influenced him. He was open to and valued Esther in a way that he never responded to Vashti. Consequently, the Jewish Nation celebrated the Feast of Purim (A decree penned by Esther, no less) instead of mourning decimation.
So, I believe God's will was done. And, I believe Vashti paid a grand price for her decision. But, I am equally sure she wasn't necessarily in the mindset that God wanted her in. I say this because our introduction to Vashti is kind of as a wildchild: verse 9 says that she, too, gave a banquet, but the verse before explains what this banquet entailed. "By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished." And, I think this failure in relationship is a failure on both sides, as so many of our failed relationships are. So, if we go with the notion that she had wildchild streak (and many of us do, trust me), I think this situation gave her an inkling to what the true wildchild lifestyle would mean to her life. And since she stood up against that lifestyle, declining the invitation to participate, well, I think her dethroning was simply a measure by which she could gain greater perspective....?
What do you think?

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