Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Lesson Learned from a Pagan Queen

Queen Vashti from movie One Night with the King

I wanted to share with you something that came to my mind recently.  It includes a small, yet very important passage of Scripture that can be found in the Book of Esther. 

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him. 

It has been speculated, and I do stress speculated (because no one knows for certain) that the queen refused to appear because the king had commanded that she appear wearing ONLY her crown!  The reason for this speculation is because the context of this account makes note that a very lengthy party had been taking place, so the king and his guests were very drunk!  It is assumed that Queen Vashti was aware of this, and did not want to be gawked at by a bunch of inebriated men!  Let’s assume that these speculations are true, and that she chose to refuse the king’s request to maintain her dignity.

The reason I bring this up is because now that summer is upon us, most people will be dressing, shall I say – less.  

It is very tempting to go around with shorter sleeves, shorter pants, and of course for many – no sleeves and no pants! By that I mean that many girls and women will choose to wear bikinis to the pool and/or beach.  Most guys will choose to go around shirtless, and while it’s not typically considered as big a deal for men as it is for women, this message is meant for men as well. 

I know this is not a pleasant topic, and some people will tune this message out.  But let me use the words of the Apostle Paul: “I beseech you!” Please hear me out. 

If you are a Follower of Messiah Yeshua, you are royalty!  You are a Son or Daughter of God Most High (El Shaddai)!  You are His representative on this earth, and you have been entrusted with the Divine Message of His Kingdom.  Therefore, you must dress the part! You must maintain your dignity and not give others the opportunity to gawk at your body. This deflects from that Divine Message.  

Your body is the Temple of YHVH, and if you were to study how the Temple was to be approached, you would realize just how seriously the King takes the treatment of His Temple!  Our King is set-apart from the world.  He has commanded that His children be set-apart from the world.  This is not merely a suggestion!  

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”  

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.’ 

I’m not going to harp on this subject of holiness and modesty, but I do want to challenge you to search your heart.  Better yet – ask YHVH to search your heart: 

Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. 

Dressing modestly maintains your dignity as child of Royalty.  It reflects self-worth, self-confidence, and a love and respect for yourself, and more importantly - for your King.  

Queen Vashti, a pagan queen with no relationship to the One True King (as far as we know), seemingly had the desire to maintain her dignity. I think that is a great lesson for us today! 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 

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