Purim is one of my favorite Biblical Holy Days. It stands as a reminder that God will come to the rescue of His people. He will even use situations that seem unfair and hopeless to accomplish His purposes.
The Biblical account begins with King Ahasuerus holding a feast which lasted 180 days. At the end of the feast he held a seven day feast for all the people. Queen Vashti also held a feast for all the women at the palace. At the end of these 7 days the King called for Vashti to come with her crown so everyone could see how beautiful she was. It has been wrongly (in my opinion) assumed that he meant in only her crown. The scriptures do not suggest this was the case. Vashti refused his request and the King was enraged.
Vashti showed no honor to her husband and disrespected him in front of the entire kingdom. This is a key concept of Esther’s story. When speaking to the wise men, King Ahasuerus is told that “16b Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.” (Esther 1, ESV)
A royal order was sent out that Vashti was never to be in the King’s presence again. 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike. (Esther 1, ESV) It was also said that another should be given her position who is “better than” she was.
To make the story short, (and because you will greatly enjoy reading the account in full detail for yourself), this is where Esther’s character is important. Because she consistently showed the King respect and honor, when her hour of need came, she was able to be bold and make her request. In doing so, she saved her people — God’s people –from annihilation.
While it isn’t completely Biblically accurate, we will be celebrating Purim by watching One Night With The King after reading the book of Esther. We will also have some hamantaschen cookies too!