Esther 1:16, 19 “’Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes…Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her position to someone else who is better than she..’”
According to a proposed law that her husband is about to pass, because Queen Vashti refused the king’s invitation to come to his banquet that was being held in her honor, she will be banished from the king’s presence forever and her royal position as the queen will be given to someone else “who is better than she;” someone who is willing to obey the king.
Esther 1:21 “The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed.”
The proposal becomes a law that can never be repealed. Vashti can never be in the presence of King Xerxes again and her position as queen will be given to someone else who is considered to be “better than she.”
What about that other Banquet that Jesus was describing that we looked at last week?
“I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.”
Find someone else to take their place. Refusing God’s invitation to come to Him when He’s calling us is a very big deal. Hearing God’s invitation to come to Him and shrugging it off is seriously offensive to God. Refusing God’s invitation to come to Him on His terms when He is lovingly calling out to us, results in eternal separation from God.
That’s really what heaven and hell are all about. Heaven is living forever in the loving presence of God and hell is being banished forever; permanently cut off, eternally separated from the mercy, love, and grace of God.
Heaven is better than anything we could ever possibly hope for, imagine or dream about because God’s love is always there. Hell is much worse than anything we could possibly imagine or dream about because God’s love and mercy are never there. The full wrath of God is the only thing that will be present in hell.
1 John 5:16 says, “There is a sin that leads to death.”
Mark 3:29 [CEV] says “But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.”
The only sin that leads to death; the only sin that will result in our being eternally banished from God’s mercy, love, and grace; the only sin that will not be forgiven is the sin of refusing to come; the sin of saying, “No,” to the Holy Spirit who is drawing us to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ alone; the sin of hearing God say, “You have sinned;” and responding, “No, I haven’t;” the sin of hearing God say, “You cannot save yourself;” and responding, “I’m certainly going to try;” the sin of hearing God say, “Accept heaven as my free gift and become my child by grace;” and responding, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll do this my own way.”
God will continue to invite us. He’ll continue calling out to us; but not forever. This is definitely a limited time offer with a predetermined expiration date. Time will definitely run out. God will continue to honor and bless those who say, Yes” to His invitation and are willing to come to Him on His terms. If God is calling you and inviting you right now, please don’t refuse Him. If God is speaking to you right now, don’t harden your heart against Him. Don’t dismiss the words He may be saying to you right now just because I happen to the one writing them.
Esther 2:1 “Later, when the anger of King Xerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her.”
Numbers 14:18 says, “God is slow to anger.” “The Lord doesn’t become angry quickly.” (NCV) He’s not a hothead. It takes a lot to make Him angry, but God does get angry.
“Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made…” (Jeremiah 25:6)
We can make God angry. Following other gods; loving other things more; putting other things first; making ourselves or other things the gods of our lives, will break God’s heart and provoke Him to anger. If we persist in doing it; if we keep saying “No” to the drawing of His Holy Spirit, it will lead to irreparable harm and eternal damage.
Thankfully, the Bible also assures us that, even though God can get angry, He is also “abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished,” (Numbers 14:18) God is overflowing with unconditional, unfailing love but because of His holiness, He will not, because He cannot, ignore the seriousness of sin.
God has provided a way for all sin to be forgiven. But He will not let sin go unpunished. If we keep saying, “No;” if we continue to refuse the mercy, love, and grace He has provided for us through Jesus, our sins will all be judged and found guilty.
Psalm 86:5– God is “rich in unfailing love to all who call on Him.” to everyone who repents; who turns away from his own sinful, selfish ways and accepts and trusts in Jesus alone as their Savior.
“The anger of King Xerxes had subsided.” After a while, he cooled down and was no longer angry at her.
God’s “anger only lasts only a moment, but His kindness, His favor lasts a lifetime.” (Psalm 30:5).
Come back next Tuesday and spend some more time in God’s Word with Pastor Buj.