Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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Three main characters are central to the story that forms the fabric of this chapter:
- the king of the Persian Empire at that time: Ahasuerus (or Xerxes 1st)
- Vashti, Queen at the material time
- Memoukân: Councillor King's clever

The study of these three characters will allow us to understand the facts that are the source of the story of Hadassah - that is say Esther Esther 2,7 - whose fate is unpredictable and extraordinary main purpose of the book.

A) Analysis of the person of King Ahasuerus:

1) Who is he?

is the strong man of the time. Esther 1.1 thus indicates the extent of his power and his kingdom. The profane history tells us about him that he had, prior to rule over his empire, put down the revolt of some people against him (among other Egyptians). The facts reported in this chapter are therefore after the military victories of the beginning of his reign. Apart from the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire was the largest ever known the ancient world. Proof is the mention, unique in the Bible, in India as the limit of the kingdom which the king reigned.

2) The feast that he prepared:

It appears at first primarily as a gesture of generosity towards both his direct reports: v 3 that all the people, v 5. In reality, it will reveal the true thoughts and feelings that inhabit the heart of the despot:

a) vanity : visible:

- the kind he welcomes guests to his feast: v 3. All persons handpicked one purpose: to show the riches of his glorious reign and the rare glory of his greatness: v 4. How far we are here indicated in the Gospel and Jesus Himself to the attention of those who intend to invite others to their tables: Luke 14.12-14.

Questions: we send invitations to others they are always fair and devoid of interest? A meal provided to a guest in the world is often a means used "to put it in his pocket." What are we trying when we invite others to our table? To make us happy, be well seen, the gain to our cause? Where we are sincere, and devoid of any calculation afterthought?

- the time knew that the feast: 180 days or 6 months: v 4. A period marked by the extravagance and excess in a single purpose: to provide an opportunity to Ahasuerus to show his guests the immense resources it has in his kingdom. These meals and the lavish parties are not they still too often the means used to "grandstanding", impress others with our resources (meals presidentialism celebration of great events on the national level, but also family or individual): Prov 13.7.

Let us as believers to stay sober, simple and balanced in all areas: see Acts 2.46-47, 1 Thess 5.6 to 7. Excessiveness and eccentricity agree nor faith nor to those who profess to know God: Phil from 3.17 to 19. Jesus appeared among us as a man: Phil 2.7. To be His disciples, also in this area follow His steps in this world!

- ostentation displayed on this occasion: v 5-7. He pursued the same goal: the statement in v. 4. A display wealth often exaggerated walk hand in hand with visible signs of impiety: Isaiah 3.16 to 24. Take care, as believers, not to find pleasure but to attach our heart to what has value and is of great worth in God's eyes: 1 Peter 3.3-4.

b) sensuality and intemperance

While Ahasuerus controls a huge empire, he is unable to control himself. Large meals mentioned in the Bible have often been a great opportunity to fall for those who have donated. Besides the one given here by Ahasuerus remind those organized by:
- Belchatsar Daniel
5.1 to 2. his sin: the outrage and sacrilege facts to God: v 3 and 4
. its adverse consequences for its author: the Judgement of God and the loss of his kingdom: v 5-6; 22 to 6.1
- Herod: Marc
6.21. sin: a rash promise: v
22-23. its unfortunate consequences: enforcement of Jean-Baptiste: v 26, remorse continuous v 14 to 16.

All these sad biblical examples show the great danger that those who give themselves Courrent to overeating and the consumption of wine is often linked. The story of Ahasuerus reveals, better than a speech, which can lead to abuse of alcoholic beverages:
- it heats passions: v 10; Isaiah 5.11
- it distorts the decision and leads to utter words or loose talk v 11, Prov 31.4-5; Isaiah 28.7; Prov 20.25; 29.20
- it causes anger and leads to disputes: v 12; Prov 20.1; 23, 29-30
- he breaks the home and between those who loved each other: v 19
- it leads to remorse and sorrow, those who indulge in Esther 2.1

Take care to overeating and not no wine intoxicate us, the Bible recommends:
- they darkened the heart and plunge the belief in a spiritual slumber dangerous
Luke 21.34-36 - which is dissipation: Eph 5.18 and cons-witness for the name of Christ who deserves to be sanctioned by the church: 1 Cor 5.9 to 13

Let us rather like Job, who, after the big meal that will gave her children were eager to preserve and ensure the quality of their relationship with God: Job 1.4 to 5. And never did allow the wine to deteriorate a little bit the quality of our relationship with our God!

B) Queen Vashti:

The little things that give us the book of Esther that we can not give a picture of approximately what it was. We know it though:

1) it was a very beautiful woman and no doubt much appreciated by her husband: v 11. Its very name reflects this fact: Vashti means beloved, the best or the prettiest. Some historians believe, moreover, that Vashti was not his real name, but the one in his love for her, Ahasuerus had given him.

2) she shared with her husband privileges Royal v 9. It was not a queen of junk, but practiced fully with Ahasuerus responsibilities for dependents.

3) she was a woman who had a high opinion of herself, and, among others, honor and dignity due to his rank. Proof is by refusing to treat her husband as a royal women as objects, just right to satisfy his vanity with his guests: v 12. Vashti is not a hanging or decoration, but a queen. Also, as such, she reacts violently, by doing what no queen hitherto dared do: publicly defy the king!

of Vashti's disobedience to the order of her husband Ahasuerus is a problem as old as time: namely that of the place, status and position of women vis-à-vis men. The question then arises: was it fair for Vashti, in his situation, to react in such a way? Bible in hand, we can answer this in several ways:

1) 1 Cor 11.7: Women, says Paul, is the glory of man. Ahasuerus, as king, is proud of his wife is quite legitimate. He wants to parade before the his guests like a small dog or a luxury is no doubt much less. Although the king's desire is not suitable, the reaction of Vashti about it is, in the eyes of propriety, no longer acceptable. If this story has sinned by conceit Ahasuerus, Vashti was certainly, in turn, by vanity and pride, not wanting to lose face before his guests.

2) 1 Cor 11.10; Eph 5.22-24: woman, "said Paul, as a being created in the second and be a help for man of Gen. 2.18 must be aware of necessary duty must bid him go for it the smooth running of the home. By refusing to respond to the desire of Ahasuerus, Vashti publicly disgraced and put in an embarrassing her husband. In doing so, she sinned more gravely against him and undoubtedly deserved to be punished.

What does this story teach us? What applications, and what spiritual lesson for our lives torque can we draw:

1) the fact that when we get married between man and woman, we marry for better or for worse. The marriage inevitably involves a certain amount of suffering and injustice caused by the sinfulness of both partners. Say yes to another should therefore be done in full knowledge of what it is because the marriage is to become one as well with its qualities and its shortcomings. Ahasuerus knowing and having said yes to the marriage (probably for the benefits it was there), Vashti was not in this circumstance to deny such a way.

2) if the man has authority over the woman, that does not allow for much to use it and abuse so outrageous and disrespectful to her. The exercise of authority by the man and the submission of women can not be well experienced in an atmosphere of love, esteem and mutual respect: Eph 5,25.28-29. The esteem I have for my wife as a husband, does not lead me to seek to depreciate in the eyes of others: 2 Peter 3.7. The esteem I have for my husband drive me to do everything so that is not reduced or humbled but honored to others: 2 Peter 3.5-6.

3) when a dispute and conflict breaks out between the couple, it is never in the reaction, either to the other rule is that the better. On the contrary, where he grows a little thing leads to another bigger and so on until there is failure. The solution is not through confrontation but through a step taken in the pacification and the goal of reconciliation: Mat 7.1 to5; 18.15. In his situation, Queen Vashti would have to yield to the desire to leave her husband subsequently be interviewed one-on-one about his attitude towards it.

4) disobedience to the husband of the woman is only justifiable in cases identical to those of civil disobedience mentioned in Scripture, that is to say when asked what is contrary to the requirements our conscience before God: Acts 4:19; 5.29. Although the reasons for the request of King Ahasuerus was bad, the content itself was nothing negative reputation of the beauty of Vashti is a fact known to all.

As in many conflicts that arise between husband and wife in a couple, the wrongs are shared here. Is this, however, sufficient reason to separate and divorce? That man may divorce, Jesus will say, what God has joined together: Mat 19.3 to 6.

C) Trial of the fault of the queen Vashti

having publicly disgraced King, it summoned the seven sages who presided over his council to determine in his case, what sentence in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, should be applied to the queen. Despite being pagan, we can withdraw how to Ahasuerus three biblical principles apply in the resolution of any conflict:

1) the request for advice from others: Prov 11.14; 15.22 , 24.6. Although personally met, the king will not take disciplinary action for the queen alone, but in agreement with others who have reflected on the subject with him. Judge the fault of another is always a matter delicate and difficult, especially if, furthermore, we are involved as a victim in the case. The soul of our brother who sins against us is too precious to act against him with levity or in a spirit of revenge: 6.1 Gal. So make sure to surround ourselves with others in order not only to punish, but to win the brother who sinned against us: Matt 18.15-18

2) the desire to find justification in the law and basis for action to take against the queen: v 15. Although personally reached Ahasuerus does not make a ruling on arbitrary queen. A law was indeed considered at the time of the Medes and Persians as an absolute and irrevocable call Dan 6,8-9.12. So it was with the law to say and decide what merited in the circumstances Vashti. In any conflict in which we are involved or not with a soul, we must have we also have two major concerns:
- that order is restored and evil thought: 1 Corinthians 5.12 to 13
- the thought of God and His will expressed through His word are being sought on this.

3) the desire for Vashti to find a measure of discipline that is proportionate to his fault. In this regard, we address Scripture two specific recommendations:
- the circle of processing the fault should never exceed the first in a time frame in which it was committed: Matt 18.15: one on one ...
- decided the penalty should be commensurate with the misconduct.

In private conversation, it can then go to a meeting with two or three witnesses: Mat 18.16, 2 Cor 13.1; 1 Tim 5.19, then to the public censure: 18.17 Mat a; 1 Tim 5.20, Gal 2.14, leading to excommunication if no repentance: Mat 18.17 b, 1 Cor 5,4-5.11

The board met, Memoukân as Spokesman of the wise, went 2-point response to the king

1) it defines the severity of the misconduct of Queen :

- it not only sin against the king, but against all the princes and cons all the people. Because of its position, because the queen is not just a private matter, but state: v 16.
- as first lady in the kingdom, Vashti does not act on its behalf but only as an example and model for all women and wives. His attitude of disobedience to her husband is a precedent and an invitation to other to follow his path: v 17 and 18
Memoukân right! The lack of a responsible, whatsoever, is still worse, because of exemplary character and symbolism that is, than a mere church member or citizen among the people. She deserves to be punished more severely: see Numb 12,1-2.10; 16,1-3.9.28-35

2) it proposes to issue an edict by which the authority of the Man is restored and respected throughout the kingdom: v 21

- disgraced by the Queen forever:
v 19 - looking for the king a new queen "that it would be better" and that will take its place: v 20
- by requiring that any wife of his kingdom to respect her husband and used to communicate with him, the mother tongue of the latter v 21 (so make it clear who is the head of household and no children or no woman pretext for her disobedience, not understanding the order of father or husband: see Nehemiah 13,24).

Memoukân's response tells us there too few Biblical truths applicable to all situations of church
- respect and recognition of authority are necessary to good order and proper functioning of human society: 1 Cor 12:28, 14.40, Heb 13.17; 1 Pet 5.5
- sin, not to grow in the church must be treated as the base and its manifestation: 1 Cor 5.6; cf 1 Sam 2.12 to 17.30, from 3.11 to 13

God help us, as the 7 wise to have the courage swimming in the church against any current way of thinking and way of acting inspired by a spirit of rebellion and restore the truth of the teaching bilbique whenever necessary: Evil 2.1 to 9.


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