Lovers with Flowers, 1927Illustration:  “Lovers with flowers,” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1927.

“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” (Esther 1:12).

Purim is a story of conflict. It begins with a king, drunk on wine, who in a stubborn rage divorces his prideful wife and banishes her from the kingdom. This king, Ahasuerus, likes his wine. Having drunk more than enough of it, he decides to show off his beautiful wife to his drinking buddies. Queen Vashti refuses to be put on display, and denies the king’s request. While we sympathize with Vashti for standing up for herself, she knows it’s dangerous to mess with the king.  She is banished for her disobedience as a lesson to all the wives of the kingdom that their husbands are to be obeyed.

What a classic illustration of the curse placed on Adam and Eve as a result of their sin in the Garden of Eden! Because of our disobedience in the garden, the relationships between men and women are forever changed. There is now spiritual warfare between husband and wife, and Ahasuerus certainly plays that warfare out with his wie, Vashti. (Don’t feel too sorry for Vashti. She reasserts her power later as the Queen mother when her son Artaxerxes takes the throne.)

On our path there are  sometimes those who attack and accuse us. Spiritual warfare does not limit itself to enemies. Anger and resentment get between people who love each other, too. But Jesus came to banish the devil for us, so that as we walk, we can turn over those spirits to Him and we can forgive as we are forgiven. It isn’t easy, but God promises to lead us.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, You are the Victor over the curse. Thank You for forgiving me, and give me strength to seek forgiveness from those I have hurt. Change my heart and help me to forgive. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  Is there a loved-one whom you have wronged and from whom you have not yet sought forgiveness? Don’t wait. And be prepared to forgive as well.

http://www.BurningBushLCMS.org http://www.ChaivShalom.com



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