LIVING FOR GOD’S PURPOSE, PLEASURE AND PRAISE
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)
When King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom in Shushan the citadel, having subdued all his enemies he decided to throw an extravagant feast to display the riches of his kingdom and the glory of the beauty of his greatness for 180 days.
When these days were completed the king now made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace.
On the seventh day of the feast, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served in the king’s presence to bring Queen Vashti before him, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and officials, for she was beautiful to behold (Esther 1:10-11).
But the proud Queen Vashti was too preoccupied with herself and her own activities. She blatantly disregarded the king’s command and refused to show forth her beauty to the king’s pleasure. Vashti’s refusal to attend to the king’s pleasure greatly angered the king.
Therefore, the king asked his wise men, saying, “What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus brought to her by the eunuchs?” (Esther 1:15 NKJV).
The wise men answered the king, saying, “If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.” (Esther 1:19 NKJV).
According to the counsel of the king’s wise men, a royal decree was written and issued against the proud Vashti forbidding her from ever coming into the King’s presence. Consequently, Vashti was deposed and her royal position and crown was given to Esther.
The Scripture amply warns against pride.
Proverbs 11:2 – NKJV
2 When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 16:18 – NKJV
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Luke 14:11 – NKJV
11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Apparently, this incident was recorded in the Bible for our learning and to serve as a great lesson for us, the bride of Christ (Rom. 15:4).
1 Corinthians 10:11-12 – NKJV
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
What are the great lessons to learn from this incident?
Let us extract some of them!
First, it is very important to note that King Ahasuerus had displayed the riches and splendor of his glorious kingdom for 180 days by various means before calling upon Vashti on the last day of the feast.
Obviously, the King knew that nothing could reflect his kingdom’s beauty and glory as his queen, Vashti. Therefore, it was a great disappointment and sorrow to the king when Vashti refused to show up before the king and his guests.
Similarly, no other creation can evince or show forth God’s nature, glory and goodness like the people created in God’s image and likeness. Man is the crown of God’s creations (Psa. 8:4-6).
The born-again believers are God’s own special people called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light to show forth God’s praises.
The Scripture amply testifies to this truth.
1 Peter 2:9 – NKJV
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Isaiah 43:7, 21 – NKJV
7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.
21 This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.
It is God’s utmost desire and delight that every born-again believer will manifest, reflect and express His divine nature, character, wisdom, glory and power in this world. Your life as a believer is intended by God to advertise or exhibit His love, grace, glory, goodness and mercy.
Matthew 5:13-16 – NKJV
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
1 Peter 2:11-12 – NKJV
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Second, it was obvious that Queen Vashti had lost her sense of purpose in the King’s palace. Vashti was undoubtedly in the palace as the queen for the King’s purpose and pleasure. But when Vashti became completely absorbed or immersed in herself and her own activities, she ceased to pursue the King’s purpose and pleasure.
While King Ahasuerus was holding a feast for his guests, the Scripture reveals that “Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.” (Esther 1:9 NKJV).
Apparently, Vashti refused to honour the king’s command because she was busy enjoying, savouring, relishing, and basking in the encomiums, eulogies or praises being showered on her by her own guests and fans. She chose not to sacrifice her pleasure for the King’s pleasure. This is obviously the cause of her fall!
Sadly, many believers today, like Vashti, are unwilling to sacrifice their personal and selfish dreams, ambitions, goals, comforts, or pleasures for God’s purpose, pleasure and praise.
As a born-again believer in Christ, you entirely belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who bought you at a huge price, His precious blood. Therefore, you are expected to live for God’s purpose, pleasure and praise, not out of compulsion, obligation, or fear of punishment, but out of pure love and gratitude to the Lord for loving and saving you.
Paul attests to this truth in his epistles.
Romans 14:7-8 – NKJV
7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – NKJV
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Beloved, you are created in Christ Jesus for God’s purpose, pleasure, and praise. You were bought by the Lord Jesus with His precious blood, not as His slave but as His bride. Therefore, devote your life to God’s pleasure, purpose and praise.
1 Corinthians 10:31 – NKJV
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 – NKJV
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
1 Peter 4:11 – NKJV
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Friend, don’t lose your crown through pride and pursuit of your selfish dreams, goals or ambitions as Vashti did. Begin to live for God’s purpose, pleasure and praise!
The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I pledge today to seek and live only for Your purpose, pleasure and praise. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to live only for God’s purpose, pleasure and praise, in Jesus’ name. Amen.