Esther 1:1-9 – What a Party!

Read Esther 1:1-9

King Xerxes must have been feeling very hospitable. His banquet turned into 180 days of celebration with military officers, princes and nobles. It appears he was putting on quite a display of his wealth. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never attended a 6 month banquet. It seems a little hard to believe.

We’re told that King Xerxes reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia from 486-465 B.C. What was King Xerxes’ motive? Was it more than making sure all the invited guests and dignitaries were impressed? Did King Xerxes want something in return? Why do I have a hard time believing he was just a nice guy?

Then, when that party was over, the king held another one. This time it was only seven days. The guests included common folks of his kingdom. It appears it was all inclusive. Again I have to ask, why? What was the king’s motivation to hold a party for all his “subjects.” Was he fund raising or recruiting? Was he simply showing off his wealth and power?

I don’t know if we’ll ever know for sure. Maybe the remaining text will give us some clues. For now, it appears the king was being generous with the people. Even if he was flaunting his wealth, the people were enjoying the treat. Did you find it interesting that the queen was having a separate party for just the women? I wonder what her party looked like?

As the book of Esther unfolds, we’ll meet Esther. One consistent purpose for this book is to explain the traditional celebration of Purim by the Jews. We shall see the major theme of this book is overcoming persecution. We’ll see how Esther becomes the “poster child” for the theme of deliverance.

Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for how you protect me and deliver me from harm. May I have a generous heart like the king in the story today. May I give freely from the abundance you have blessed me with. Stir in me new excitement for the day. May I be a shining light to all who I encounter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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