When the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded … 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 on. Esther 1:10, 11.
When this command came from the king, Vashti did not carry out his orders, because she knew that wine had been freely used, and that Ahasuerus was under the influence of the intoxicating liquor. For her husband’s sake as well as her own, she decided not to leave her position at the head of the women of the court.
It was when the king was not himself, when his reason was dethroned by wine-drinking that he sent for the queen, that those present at his feast, men besotted by wine, might gaze on her beauty. She acted in harmony with a pure conscience.
Vashti refused to obey the king’s command, thinking that when he came to himself, he would commend her course of action. But the king had unwise advisers. They argued it would be a power given to woman that would be to her injury.
However high their office, men are amenable to God. The great power exercised by kings, often leads to extremes in exaltation of self. And the worthless vows made to enact laws which disregard the higher laws of God, lead to great injustice.
Occasions of indulgence such as are pictured in the first chapter of Esther, do not glorify God. But the Lord accomplishes His will through men who are nevertheless misleading others. If God did not stretch forth His restraining hand, strange presentations would be seen. But God impresses human minds to accomplish His purpose, even though the one used continues to follow wrong practices. And the Lord works out His plans through men who do not acknowledge His lessons of wisdom. In His hand is the heart of every earthly ruler, to turn whithersoever He will, as He turneth the waters of the river.
Conflict and Courage p. 243
—–Please pray that God will send rain to put out the Kansas wildfires. Rose
—–Please pray for Eileen. She went to the doctor yesterday and he is concerned that her back is not healing right and has ordered an MRI to see what’s going on. Rose
—–Please pray for a co-workers sister, she was beaten the other night by her baby’s father. The women and her baby are now safe with her family, but there are several injuries that will take a while to heal. Danette
—–Please pray for Robert and his wife. Their only little boy, Nicky (3years old)was drowned in the stream behind their house yesterday. Vavala
On the way home from work some years ago, I used to pass an apartment house beside a bar on the main street of town. On the steps of this brick building, a woman, obviously poor, waited for the school bus to drop off her small son. As I’d wait behind the bus, I would smile. Although she lived in an area not conducive to raising a child, she had much love in her heart. As soon as she would see her young son get off from the bus, her face would light up and she would give him and hug and a kiss and take him inside.
Some time later, while we were on vacation, this apartment house was torn down. What a surprise it was to see its crumbled remains on my first day back to work. My thoughts immediately went to this woman and her son. Where were they now? Are their living conditions better or worse? I still think about them sometimes when I pass that area and wonder about them.
Sometimes our house can become like that apartment building. Sometimes we feel as if the rug was being pulled out from under us and we are being torn down. This tearing down can be physical, material, emotional, or spiritual. We feel like the man who had built his house upon the sand. We feel like our house is crumbling all around us.
Praise God! We have a Chief Cornerstone Who is “the Stone which the builders rejected,” the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself is “the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20:17,18 No matter what happens to us, we can stand on the Firm Foundation.
Besides Jesus, the Cornerstone, our solid foundation contains all the great truths of His Holy Word. Every one of these truths are critically important to the soundness of our “building.” Without any one of those “stones of truth” our structure would crumble and fall.
David asks a question—a question that we would do well to ponder. He asks, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Ps 11:3 There are some who try to remove a foundation stone here and there, but that has caused disastrous results. After the question in this psalm, David gives the answer to those who would remove these stones. He says, “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” Paul speaks of this Temple throughout the book of Hebrews. John saw this Temple when given the great visions of Revelation. It is the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Heb 8:2 Paul speaks of Jesus as our High Priest. John calls Him our advocate. What an important foundation stone this truth is!
Paul has an answer to those who would reject even one stone when he said, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.” 2 Tim 2:19 We have “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Heb 6:19 We have a foundation that is solid. We do not have to waver and be in perplexity by the teachings of men that attempt to undermine the Truth, for Jesus has said, “in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Mark 7:7 We do not have to be as a “wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6 Moreover, if we have found ourselves on a shaky foundation because we have listened to others as they have attempted to pull the foundation out from under us, the Master Builder can rebuild us just like that building upon the corner—stronger and more beautiful than before.
May we build upon the Solid Rock keeping in place every stone of the foundation, falling upon the Corner Stone, and allowIng all our pride, all our selfishness to be broken that we may be recreated in His image is my prayer.