Compare and Contrast

Esther 1:19 – 22 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.’ The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, proclaiming in each people’s tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.”

I’ll bet the Jewish people living in this area paid no attention to this decree. After all, what did they care about those pagans in the palace? It had nothing to do with them. But we know the end of the story. And we know the significance of these events, which at the time seemed to have no significance whatsoever to God’s people. In the same way, many events play out every day in our lives, which may appear to have no lasting significance. But God is always working behind the scenes, on our behalf. He is always working things out for our good and for His glory, just as He was doing centuries ago, in Xerxes’ palace. He knew what was coming, and He was standing by, ready to move in a big way.

On the surface, we can find many similarities between Xerxes and God. They are both all-powerful. Once they say something, it is law – forever! They both also like to show off their wealth – Xerxes in a gaudy display of materialism, God in an exquisite display of snow-capped mountains and bountiful bouquets of wildflowers. Finally, they both beckon their brides to come to them.

But the differences are far more profound. While Xerxes was self-serving, God is all-sacrificing. Xerxes saw his bride as something to be used, someone to be disposed of when she no longer pleased him. God, on the other hand, invites people to have a loving, intimate relationship with Him. Xerxes cast out His bride; God draws His bride to Himself.

And while Xerxes asked Vashti to humiliate herself for him, God sacrificed His own happiness, and gave up His own Son so that we could be saved. Xerxes loved his bride because she was beautiful, and he banished her when she disobeyed him. But God loves us in spite of our ugly hearts, in spite of the sin that controls us. Though He has every right to banish us, He doesn’t. Instead, He continues to lovingly invite us to come to Him.

Vashti perhaps had noble reasons for refusing her husband, but what about you? What about me? God beckons each of us to come to Him. He loves us more than life itself, and He will never hurt us or humiliate us. Yet, many people, each and every day, refuse to come to Him. Why? What possible reason could there be for rejecting such a gracious and loving King?

If you feel God calling You to Himself, I urge you to gather up your skirts and run, as fast as You can, to do His bidding! The rewards will be greater than you can imagine. He loves You, my friend. And while you may not live out the remainder of your days on this earth in a castle drinking from gold goblets, God will give you abundant life – the kind that only He can give.

Dear Father, Thank You for loving me, and for laying down Yourself for my benefit. You have invited me to come to You, and I accept the invitation. I will love You, honor You, and serve You as my King.


4 Responses to Compare and Contrast

  1. June 2, 2008 #

    What a touching and eloquent interpretation of this passage. You amaze me little girl. Surely, you are my heart walking around outside my body. I miss you!

  2. June 2, 2008 #

    Thanks, Mom! 🙂


  3. June 3, 2008 #

    I love this post! And I love your reference to what Renae said earlier, SueNell!

  4. June 3, 2008 #

    Thanks, Jeanette! 🙂

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