Are you weary of hearing about the failure of Israel?  Even after being returned from their captivity they return to marriage to foreigners, and embrace the sins of the world.  They will have four hundred years of backsliding before they are visited by the arm of the Lord.  But there are lights in the darkness.  After the Persians conquered the Babylonians, they inherited the Jews in their captivity.  Events in Persia reveal the hand of God working for his people.

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)  That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,  In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:  When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.  Esther 1:1-4

Ancient nations are discovering the power of military and political unity.  They are testing their strength, and glory in their accomplishments.  Arts and sciences are taking a place in the celebration of national prestige.  It’s a time to party hearty in Persia.

And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;  Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.  And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.  And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure. Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus. Esther 1:5-9

Archeologists found the marble paving exactly as described in this scripture.  These were real historical people and how they lived.  These events are a revelation of God working among the living, as he still does today.  The events of this secular kingdom were different from life today, but the forces operating behind the scenes, in the spiritual realm are the same.

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,  To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.  But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.  Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:  And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)  What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?  Esther 1:10-15 

The women of Persia were not liberated, as some in Iran today are also oppressed.  To shame the king invited similar rebellion in the homes of all men of Persia.  The king asked his advisors what the law required for this offense.  Persia was a kingdom under law, even as modern Iran is under a form of shahira law.  Man made laws tend to favor men, so the men made a decision.

And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.  For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.  Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.  If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.  And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small. Esther 1:16-20 

So; frightened men removed a willful queen to protect their own little kingdoms at home.  The king must have liked what he heard, and it may have been what he expected of his ministers.  He issued the orders to make it so.

And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:  For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people. Esther 1:21-22

How did this affect the lives of a captive nation in the service of this king?  Israel had no ongoing parties, and they were barely aware of their own God given law.  They may have been consumed with their own hard lives to dwell on the affairs of the royal household.  But God knows the hearts of men, and where their lives will take them long in advance. 

He knows that Israel will have needs, and he knows how to turn the king of Persia into a servant of God.  Like a great ocean liner, the ship of state must turn slowly, and the Captain of the host has already signaled the engine room and the helm for course corrections.