The Tale of Three Banquets


The book of Esther begins with a series of banquets three years into the reign of King Xerxes. He ruled a vast empire that extended from India to Cush and we see him celebrate and flaunt his wealth. And so, the banquets begin.

  1. A banquet for the nobles, governors and officials in the kingdom. He shows off the glory and splendour of the riches of his kingdom, not for a few days but for a massive 180 days.
  2. A banquet for all the people in the citadel of Susa. This feast lasts for 7 days after the conclusion of the previous banquet. This feast may have been just for a fraction of the time of the previous one but it did not in any way lack in extravagance and opulence.
  3. The third banquet was given by queen Vashti in the royal palace for the women.

As we read this chapter, we get a glimpse into the character of King Xerxes, he was letting everyone know that he was richer and more powerful than anyone else.

His intent was clear and that was to display his power and glory to those in his kingdom. It was all about him and his own pride and glory.

As children of God we are called to behave differently with our material possessions. They are a blessing from God, not to be flaunted but to be good stewards of with what we are blessed with, be it little or much. To be held with gratitude with open palms. With an open palm attitude towards our material possessions;

  • We tend not to hold it too tight clinging to it as our sole source of security,
  • We realise that it is God’s to give and God’s to take away and
  • Our focus is not singularly on our earthly possessions but on the One who blesses us with those earthly possessions.

Just take a moment and pause and think of not king Xerxes, but our King, our God- the King of Kings.

What is the glory of God and how does He display the riches of His glory?

The glory of god is the beauty of his spirit, a beauty that emanates from His character, the very essence of who He is.

Isaiah 43:7 says that God created us for His glory, we His creation glorify Him. Nature exhibits His glory. His glory is His grace, character and nature and these riches are encapsulated in a person – Jesus Christ – whom God has given to all that believe in Him.

God displays the riches of His glory in what He does in and through our lives.

God’s glory is constant, and we will see it manifest in people, in nature, in a story or in our own personal lives. But it all goes back to God in the end. And the only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. We will find the very source of all beauty in Him, in heaven, if we are in Christ.

Only he is worthy of all glory and praise.


 

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