We meet Vashti at the beginning of the book of Esther 1:8-20. She was the former Queen of Persia and the first wife of King Ahasuerus. Now it came to pass that King Ahasuerus threw a mega feast for all the men in his kingdom while Vashti threw another feast for the women. On the last day of feasting, Ahasuerus sent seven of his eunuchs to command Vashti to come to him so he could show her to the people for Vashti was very beautiful to look upon.
It would seem that Vashti would consider this an honor, but she did not. She repeatedly said NO and refused to go to her husband. Some have interpreted this first chapter of Esther to mean that King Ahasuerus was drunk when he asked for Vashti’s appearance and wanted her to appear nude before the men at his feast, wearing only her royal crown. This is why Vashti refused to come – she refused to compromise her modesty. If this is the case then, Vashti was disobedient for a good reason.
Since the Bible does not specifically tell us, the phrase “wearing her royal crown” seems to be better interpreted as royal clothes. It is unlikely that any sensible King would ask his wife to put on such a dishonorable display. King Ahasuerus wanted to present his queen in all her royal beauty, but Vashti did not want to be presented – period. Here is where we learn from her story.
1. Vashti was disobedient. God places people in positions of authority to maintain a sense of order in our world. These authorities make laws/rules and tell the people under them what to do. When the people submit and follow the rules, there is peace. But when the people disobey and rebel, there is chaos and confusion.
Sometimes those in authority abuse their power by making evil laws and by hurting/hating those they rule over instead of helping/loving them. In such a case, it is right to disobey instead of submitting to wrongdoing. But in most cases those who are in authority over us in real life (our teachers, parents, mentors, etc.) do not want us to do wrong. They want us to do what is right.
When it comes to the family, Scripture commands kids to obey their parents, wives to obey their husbands, and husbands to obey God. We are all to obey God. Our obedience to His commands shows just how much we love Him.
John 14:15 reads, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive.”
It is not enough for us just to know God’s commands; we must also obey them. When we are obedient, we will be blessed. When we are disobedient, we will have blessings taken away. Because of her disobedience, Vashti was divorced from her husband, banished from his palace, and no longer had a royal position in the kingdom.
2. Vashti is an example of how we are God’s queen, joint-heirs of an eternal kingdom. King Ahasuerus chose Vashti to be his queen. God has chosen us – all Christians – to be His queen and the bride of His Son, Jesus the Christ.
Vashti had a royal position in the kingdom of Persia; she co-ruled with her husband. We too have royal positions in the kingdom of Heaven; we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. God has given us dominion and the power to rule and reign. He has equipped us each with a crown. Joseph Prince said, “As a joint heir with Christ Jesus, you inherit everything that He is. How much Jesus has, is how much you have. All that belongs to Him belongs to you. All that Jesus is in heaven today, you are in this world.”
However, we don’t get to do what we want just because we rule together. Jesus is still Lord over all. What He tells us to do, we must do. When He tells us to come, we must come. Where He tells us to go, we must go.