Scripture to read today: Esther 1:10-11
On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him – to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.
In ancient times, for all nations involved, the cost of failed conquests is very high. The soldiers and the people of the lands pay the ultimate price when power switches hands and land occupation is won or lost. In Esther, following the conquests, King Xerxes moved into the security of the palace citadel of Susa and is ready to celebrate his victory.
King Xerxes enjoys a good party among the people who still revere him. His direction to his servers was to fill their glasses with as much wine as his guests would like (Esther 1:7-8). His liberality with his own consumption of wine would once again become his leadership weakness. Too drunk to keep his composure, he decides to call for his wife the queen to appear before his drunken guests. He wanted to “show her off” and let them envy his “possession” (as women were regarded at that time). Remember that King Xerxes had not been given the title, “Xerxes the Great!” as his father and grandfather had earned through military dominance. Xerxes would only hear this title temporarily after filling his guest’s goblets with wine at his dinner party.
The king’s drunken state led to embarrassment and ill-thought-out decrees that would be regretted in the morning. Individuals with subversive desires drew close to the King to capitalize on his weakness. Yet God’s providence and sovereignty were about to be displayed. Though God’s plan was not yet realized, God introduces Mordecai and Esther into the story, and He leverages their courage and cleverness to save the remaining Jews in Persia.
What are some of your weaknesses? We all have them. Identifying them, getting help with them, and minimizing their impact enables us to live and love like Jesus. When we bring our limitations before Jesus, His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m thankful for a loving community of friends and family that encourage and support me despite my weaknesses. Let’s thank God for His love, forgiveness, and willingness to use us and even our weaknesses for His glory!