I just finished my homework from my study on Esther, and it sure puts things in perspective.
The book starts off with a description of King Xerxes - he was said to be the most handsome, the tallest, and most powerful man of that time. He didn't earn his wealth - he just happened to come from a gene pool, to where it was all handed down to him on a silver platter.
In this first chapter, it tells us about this party he threw in his palace for 180 days for all the military officials and nobles of the day, and THEN when that one was over, he threw yet another party for seven days for "those who were the least to the greatest in all the kingdom" - can you imagine attending a party that lasted that long? As Beth Moore states in our study, " imagine how exhausting a 7 day party would be, particularly after the drama of tearing through our closets, trying to decide what to wear. Think of how our feet would kill us because we'd choose cute over comfortable shoes".
This Xerxes loved to flaunt himself and all that was his. He thought he was "all that and a bag of chips".
Verse 4 says, "He displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty". Again, Beth Moore reminds us that the words 'splendor, glory and majesty' are words that should be attributed to God alone. I would suggest you read Psalm 49: 6 - 20, to see the fate of those who attribute those words of praise to themselves.
One last thing I want to share from today's homework is this: "Our culture's mountain-high piece of the pie premium on riches is not so different from ancient Persia's, and the wealth around us can become as intoxicating as Xerxe's royal wine".
I know I have been guilty on many occasions to be jealous of the homes, clothes and other material things of others. What we see on the outside doesn't always reflect what's going on inside the lives of the people who seem to have it all; many times they have all those things as a means to try to fill a void in their life that only God can fill. I know, because I was that person once - I had the big house in the desired neighborhood; the paid for Mercedes in my garage; unlimited spending on credit cards that were paid off each month; more clothes than I could ever wear - many with tags on them as I'd donate them to Goodwill or some other charity because "they weren't in style anymore".....
What a pitiful and empty person I was. Thank God for the events in my life that brought all that crashing down! I ended up losing everything I owned, and gaining a LIFE! It wasn't until I was alone and broke and had nothing of material worth to my name any longer, that I actually realized how blessed I was, because I then had a new life in Christ. I was learning an invaluable lesson on being content in any and all situations.
I pray that God will use this to speak to you about some area in your life as well....I'm so thankful that I am able to be a part of this study of "Esther - It's Tough Being a Woman", and that God is showing me what kind of woman he desires for me to be...
Have a blessed Thursday...