In these days of social media, it’s tempting to see ourselves like the prophet Elijah, self-righteously calling down “fire” in public forums on anyone who we judge to be an enemy of God and His kingdom (or anyone who disagrees with us). Absolutely, God calls us to speak out against evil, but He shows us other ways to be effective in bringing about change also. Wednesday we looked at Abigail. Today there are two more women to pay attention to.
2. Vashti – Resister
Background: The book of Esther takes place in the pagan city of Susa in Persia. Esther’s ancestors had been carried into captivity there. She is being raised by her uncle, Mordecai after the death of her parents. They are Jews, but this is not widely known.
Situation: (Xerxes has a party) 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. Esther 1:10-11 (Some scholars think she was invited to come wearing ONLY her crown).
Queen Vashti decide to take a stand against immorality regardless of the cost. She refuses to engage.
“But Queen Vashti refused to come, refused the summons delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.” Esther 1:12
How might this look for you ?- Name evil and humbly confront anyone who does not uphold the dignity and inherent worth of all people. Honor the imago dei in each person. Support a refugee (https://wewelcomerefugees.com), or someone in what the president reportedly referred to as “s**thole countries” Check out Preemptive Love.
3. Esther – Advocate
Situation: (Still in the book of Esther) Haman, insecure and jealous of Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, convinces King Xerxes to issue a decree that all the Jews should be killed.
“Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day…” Esther 3:13
Esther risks her life in order to advocate for the lives of her people.
So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
“Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.‘” Esther 7:1-3
How might this look for You? – Who might you intercede in prayer for? Who might you advocate for? Sign a petition to end slavery through the International Justice Mission (IJM) or get involved with WV advocacy or sponsor a child.
I think God is calling us to examine the different ways we are to respond to injustice and division in our world. What would you add? What other Biblical examples do you see?