VERSES: Esther 1:1-22
MEMORY VERSE: Esther 1:11 "...bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the people and her princes her beauty..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Luke. Write "Luke" on small slips of paper for the students to take home after class and memorize.
PRAYER: Pray that we put God first in our lives and consider His ways before men's ways--at all cost.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Careful Little Eyes (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Bible Map showing where the Medes and Persians ruled. Draw a picture on the whiteboard or chalkboard of the Activity below.
- During the reign of the Medes and Persians, there was a king named Ahasuerus who ruled over the land from India to Ethiopia which was a great area. Ahasuerus was a very important king. He lived in Shushan in a huge palace.
- One day the king decided to throw a great feast or party to show off all the things that he owned. Many people were there and they stayed for SIX months! That's some feast! During these six months, King Ahasuerus was full of pride and, wanting the attention of the people, he displayed all of the riches of his kingdom to his guests who were princes and important people in the 127 provinces or areas that made up his kingdom.
- After this feast, he decided to have another seven-day feast for the all of the people in Shushan. He invited the important people and the not-so-important people to this shorter feast. He made the palace ready, but the feast was in the garden area of the palace. The king's servants hung white, green, and blue cloth hangings in the garden, he had a pavement made of red, blue, white, and black marble. Every gold cup was different from the other and they drank wine from the cups. Everything was very beautiful and the king was very hospitable. He tried to please everyone. While the king was making his seven-day feast, his wife, Queen Vashti was making a feast for the women in the royal house a small distance from the palace.
- After seven days of drinking and the king was full of wine, he wanted to show off how beautiful his wife was. He sent seven of the woman servants to bring Queen Vashti with her royal crown to the king. He wanted to put the queen on display, too, showing everyone Queen Vashti's beauty, but there was a problem. Vashti would not come. The queen was beautiful, but she was more modest. She did not want people looking at her just because she was beautiful, so she did not come to the palace to show off her beauty. Wine makes men do foolish things, perhaps that was another reason Vashti would not go and see the king in his palace because the feast had already been going for seven days.
- The king was extremely ANGRY! The Bible says that his anger burned inside of him. He called his wise men who knew the law and his closest advisers together and asked what should be done with Queen Vashti because she had refused the king's command. One of his advisers said that the queen had not only done wrong to the king, but had offended the princes and all of the people in all 127 provinces. He went on to say that if all of the women of the land heard what the queen had done, then all of the women might do like she did and refused a command of her husband. The king's adviser suggested that he make a law of the Medes and Persians that Queen Vashti not be allowed to come before the king ever again and to let the king chose another wife. He said that way when the law went out to all 127 provinces, then all the wives would learn a lesson and give honor to their husbands.
- Everything that his adviser said, the king agreed and did exactly as they talked about concerning Queen Vashti. Letters were sent out throughout the kingdom and in many languages that every man should rule his own house.
- So, because Queen Vashti had done the right thing and refused to parade before a palace full of men full of wine, showing off how beautiful she truly was, she was banished from ever seeing the king again and we never read of her again in the Bible. But, Vashti believed in what she did, didn't she? She believed that modesty was important no matter who wanted her to do differently. God, too, thought that Vashti had done well because he put it in the Bible.
"Older Student" Tips:
- The book of Esther is written like no other book in the entire Bible. God's name is not mentioned throughout its ten chapters.
- As mentioned on this blog before, the book of Esther belongs between Ezra 6 and seven, chronologically.
- Definition of modesty: behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid anything improper of indecent.
- Definition of 'showing off': seeking the attention of others in a very noticeable way.
- We can learn times and lengths of time by the length of kings' reigns. Here, we can learn how long it was before Ahasuerus married after Vashti was banished. or made to live away from the king (Esther 1:3 and Esther 2:16).
- It is also interesting to know that when a Persian king made a law, even he could not change it. Ever.
- Vashti is a good example of how we should be modest and not show off our beauty or talents or our possessions to others. We should be humble as she was and do the right thing no matter what the circumstances. She was a brave woman, knowing the king's anger and the laws of the Persians.
ACTIVITY: "Vashti--An Example of Modesty"
Materials needed: 9" x 12" piece of light green construction paper, 4.5" x 9" pieces of yellow and dark green construction paper, scraps of other colored construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons, markers.
- Hand out light green paper.
- Hand out dark green paper.
- Glue dark green paper at the bottom of the light green paper.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Make a palace out of yellow paper in two pieces, the roof and the bottom of the palace.
- Fold a small edge at the top of the bottom story of the palace, so that the bottom of the palace lifts up.
- Glue edge of the bottom of the palace to the light green paper.
- Glue roof to palace.
- Cut a square for the royal house out of any color paper.
- Fold edge of top of the royal house.
- Glue edge of the royal house to light green paper.
- Cut a roof for the royal house.
- Glue roof to royal house.
- Lift up yellow palace and draw the king telling seven servants to go and get Vashti.
- Write "Tell Vashti to come. I want to show how beautiful she is." and "Tell her to wear her crown." under the palace by the king.
- Lift up the royal house and draw a beautiful Vashti.
- Write "Vashti was beautiful, but modest. She would not come." under the royal house by Vashti.
- At the top of the light green paper, write "VASHTI--AN EXAMPLE OF MODESTY" and "Esther 1:1-22".
- Write "Vashti did the right thing!" at the bottom of the green paper.
- Color pictures.