Scripture: Esther 1:10 On the seventh day (of a great banquet), when the king was merry with wine, he commanded… the seven eunuchs who attended him, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials (his guests) her beauty; for she was fair to behold. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.
Observation: The king summoned his queen Vashti to appear before him and his friends who were “merry with wine” (drunk). Why did he summon Vashti? Because she was beautiful and he wanted to show her off – as he’d been showing off his couches of gold, goblets of gold, and other possessions (v.6-7). Vashti refused. The king was publicly defied by his own wife. It was a loss of face in front of his friends. v.12 says “his anger burned within him”.
Application: I’m one who tends to hold traditional perspectives on things, but I’m also something of a feminist. By that I mean I believe women should have the same opportunities as men. Women should be able to go wherever their character and competence can take them. Women should have seats at the tables of power – not to fill quotas, but because their perspectives are invaluable. I could make a very long list here, but I think you get the idea.
See that picture above? It’s a photo of our vice president discussing a healthcare bill with members of Congress. Notice anything peculiar about this picture? In a pivotal meeting of legislation regarding the health and welfare of all Americans, including millions of women, there are no women present. None. Unbelievable. Does this mean no women will be included in the process? Of course not. But this picture says a lot about how far we have to go in giving women equal access to the levers of power in Washington and elsewhere. We can do better. We must do better.
Prayer: Gracious God, as we read in our passage for today, the objectification and/or marginalization of women has a very long history. And it’s still happening. It’s time we got rid of the boys club. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.