Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man (woman) reaps what he sows.”
Our church ladies just started the study of Esther. This past week, we looked at the first chapter which tells the story of King Xerxes and Queen Vashti. To tell the truth, I have never really thought much about either of the two, just moved right on to Esther. And what I did think about Vashti was not very good. This study has brought a new light on that, but what I really want to focus on is the difference between Xerxes and Vashti concerning their decision making. In fact, one decision can cause us to make several more decision done the wrong or right path.
King Xerxes was having a great party. It lasted for days. He and his cohorts were eating and drinking and over-indulging in every way. the King decided he wanted to show off his beautiful wife so he called for her to come in so he could ‘display’ her before his friends. Already, he has made three bad decisions. 1) Throwing a party of indulgence. 2) Getting stone drunk 3) Asking his wife, the queen, to do something totally unheard of (displaying the queen before the people). This led to anger when his wife refused to come and more bad decisions. There was another king who did the very same thing to his detriment. The king of the Philistines threw a great party and had Samson, his captor, brought in so they could laugh at him and poke fun at him. But God gave Samson his strength back one last time and the whole group died when the building fell in on them!
On the other hand, Vashti was having her own banquet with the ladies of the palace. Unlike King Xerxes, there is no mention of over indulgence or heavy drinking. So she was of sober mind when the king summoned her. She was in the right state of mind to know that it was improper for the queen to be displayed before the people and she refused. She had a hard decision to make because she also knew that disobeying the king could also have grave circumstances. She chose to keep her character and dignity and refused to come before the king. Yes, she was ‘demoted’ as queen. But studies show that she wasn’t banished for the kingdom. She likely was still a part of the harem.
Can you think of someone who chose to go with character and dignity? How about Joseph? He was tempted by Pharaoh’s wife and falsely accused of sexual advances towards her and then thrown in prison. Doesn’t sound good, but again he kept his character and dignity. And God blessed him as time passed.
So what can we learn in a nutshell …
How to make a bad decision ..
- Drunkenness causes bad decision-making – The Bible says alcohol makes people say unkind things, leads to fighting, and those who drink are unable to use wisdom. (Prov 20:1) Also, we should not desire strong drink, in the end it will “get you”. You’ll see and do crazy things you may regret. (Prov 23:31-33)
- Take bad advice – Proverbs 12:15 says ‘The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.’
- Get angry – Proverbs 14:17 says short-tempered people make foolish decisions.
How to make a good decision …
- Keep a sober mind – James 1:19-20 says be quick to listen; slow to speak; slow to get angry.
- Get wise advice – Proverbs 12:15 says fools think they are always right, but a wise person listens to advice.
- Seek God’s advice – Psalm 119: 98 says God’s Word make me wiser than my enemies. It is my constant guide.
- Live a holy life – Hebrews 5:14 says mature Christians are trained to know what is right from wrong. In other words, they won’t have to think long to know what to do. The right decision will come naturally.
Just a few thoughts, I got from the first chapter of Esther. Any thoughts from you?