Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Hidden Heroine of the Bible

Thursday, while during school, I was reading in the book of Esther.  I'm sure y'all remember that story from the Bible.  Esther was the one written about as "fair and beautiful", and was pampered for 12 months!  A whole year!  I'm sure many girls would love to have beauty treatments for a whole year.  You know how girls are.

However, today I am not wanting to talk about Esther, although she was an amazing woman used of God.  That is for another time and place.  Today, there is a hidden hero, or I should say, heroine, in the story of Esther: Queen Vashti.  Surprised?  Not many people know anything about her.  Honestly, I don't either.  That is why I want to want to try and uncover somethings that have came to my attention. (Oh, by the way, since this is Saturday, I also have a book review mixed in.  The book is Secret Keeper, written by Dannah Gresh.)

In the book Secret Keeper, Dannah Gresh also recognizes Queen Vashti as a hidden heroine of the Bible.  Listen to what she says:  "Queen Vashti, Esther's predecessor, is the Bible's hidden hero.  The king called her to flaunt herself.  He and his friends were drunk, and she knew it was inappropriate for a woman in her culture to flaunt her beauty in front of a man, let alone a room full of drunken men.  She lost her crown but not her honor.  She oozed with inner confidence!  Queen Vasthi understood that the power of her allure was protected not only by what she wore but also by where she went, when she went, and how she acted.  She held the power of inner modesty in the palm of her hand.  She wasn't about to forfeit that power...not even at the command of the king."  Pretty strong statements, what?  I believe we have found a hidden hero in the Bible - one we would have never though of.

Women do have a certain kind of power.  You may not think so?  Guys are visual. (Sound corny the way I put that?)  They go by what they see.  Why do you think magazines always have the picture of a woman on the cover (although indecent most of the time)?  It is because most people are attracted to the sight of a woman, particularly a beautiful one.  Especially guys.  Women do have power - but do we want to flaunt ourselves at every guy we see, or do we want to be modest, chaste, discreet, and wait for the one that will ultimately love us for who we are?  I'll take the latter.

That is why Queen Vashti should be a Biblical role model for us as Christian ladies.  She knew it was wrong and inappropriate for her to be on display in front of a room full of drunken men.  In the end, she behaved in the appropriate manner, although it cost her her position.

Esther1:10-11 say, "On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, (drunk, perhaps?) he commanded...the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty, for she was fair to look upon."

The king had been feasting and drinking; drinking quite a lot by the sound of it.  Then a bright idea popped into his head: why not bring forth Vashti, his beauteous queen, before the province so she might flaunt her beauty before his subjects?  So he commanded Vashti to come before him in the feasting room.  However, Vashti would not come.  She knew better than to appear before intoxicated men.  LORD only knows what might have happened!

Vashti knew the power that women possessed, and still possess today.  Unfortunately, many women today don't care - they only want the attention their beauty and bodies bring.  You can tell by the way a woman dresses if she wants to please God, or gain the attention of man.  Skintight jeans, low-cut shirts, miniskirts spaghetti straps, etc.  All those are made to be attention grabbers.  In this day in which we live in, it is very hard to find modest attire.  Very hard indeed.  But that doesn't mean we Christian girls give in to the pressure and start behaving as the girls of the world - NO! On the contrary, we should strive harder to be light in a darkened world, like Vashti was!  She is a very good example to follow.

Although the Bible doesn't say much about Vashti, I believe what is said is to serve a purpose.  In spite of what the king commanded, Vashti still held her ground by doing what was right.  A great lesson can and should be learned from her example.  "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)   Even in face of loss, torment, persecution, and contrary to popular belief, we are to stand our ground and boldly proclaim we will uphold what it right!  Queen Vashti did just this.  She must have known consequences would follow, yet she still held her ground.  Praise God for such an encouraging story!  We should "do right until the stars fall." -Charles Spurgeon.

O God, give us more women today that will stand up like Vashti and do Your will and law!

The book I highly recommend today is Secret Keeper, written by Dannah Gresh.  A very good little book on modesty and how girls and women are to use their power.  I encourage every woman  and girl to read it.  Although the book is small, perhaps your eyes will be opened to some things.

To conclude, who would you rather be like?  Queen Vashti, who stood her ground to do right, even in the face of consequences, or one of the "fashionable models and actresses" that cover every magazine, those that are weak and have given up everything of themselves?  Do you want to be weak, or strong?

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