SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW)

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Esther

Chapter 1

9. Contrast of Two Feasts—We read with pleasure of the feast of queen Vashti. This was not a feast attended by a promiscuous number, but a feast given by the queen for the women of rank in the kingdom, who were entertained with modest courtesy, without wantonness or sensuality. 3BC 1139.3

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. 3BC 1139.4

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 (Manuscript 29, 1911). 3BC 1139.5

10-12. Vashti's Refusal Was for the King's Good—[Esther 1:10, 11 quoted.] Had the king maintained his royal dignity by practicing habits of temperance, he would never have made this command. But his mind was affected by the wine that he had used so freely, and he was not prepared to act wisely. 3BC 1139.6

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 [Esther 1:12 quoted] (Manuscript 39, 1910). 3BC 1139.7

16-22. God Overruled Ahasuerus’ Folly for Good—[Esther 1:16-22 quoted.] There is little doubt that the king, when he afterward considered the matter, felt that Vashti deserved to be honored, rather than to be treated as she was. 3BC 1139.8

No law of divorce, drawn up by men who for many days had given themselves up to wine-drinking, men who were unable to control the appetite, could be of any value in the eyes of the King of kings. These men were unable to reason soundly and nobly. They could not discern the real situation. 3BC 1139.9

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. 3BC 1139.10

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. 3BC 1139.11

Through the experience that brought Esther to the Medo-Persian throne, God was working for the accomplishment of His purposes for His people. That which was done under the influence of much wine worked out for good to Israel (Manuscript 39, 1910). 3BC 1139.12