Read His Words Before Ours!
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and saw radiant beauty?
Or how about the last time you felt someone wasn’t valuing you, so you fought to prove them wrong?
In Esther 1, the King of Persia made a bold statement about the value of the queen based on her appearance. The king had publicly called for his wife to display her beauty in the midst of a party of his royal comrades. He insisted his drunken guests be given the opportunity to shameless gaze upon her. Bravely, Vashti refused.
The king saw her flawless beauty, but didn’t value her heart.
Queen Vashti surely had the right to not be paraded in front of a drunken crowd like a beauty trophy. She had the right to be valued, known, and loved for her, not just her face and her body.
Because when God created human beings, He made them in His own image. (Genesis 1:27)
Every one of us carry equal value because we bear the image of the Lord God.
If Queen Vashti, along with all women everywhere across all of time, carried this value and image of God, why the struggle and fight for value and control?
The answer lies in the story lines of the first woman, the lies she believed, and the consequence for her exchange of truth for deception.
He said to the woman:
I will intensify your labor pains;
you will bear children with painful effort.
Your desire will be for your husband,
yet he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)
Eve was given this curse from the Lord as a consequence for choosing sin and self over a relationship with God in the garden of Eden.
Eve had been hand-crafted by the Lord and designed for deep, satisfying relationship with Him.
She was intimately known from her core and emotions and longings, to her toenails and freckles.
She was perfectly loved and delighted over.
But she bought the lie that said she was missing out on something else; that God was being stingy with her.
So, Eve chose disobedience over delight, and lost everything.
The curse says a woman’s desire will be to usurp authority.
Where Eve once found delight in the dance of mutual submission,
the fire for control now raged in her belly.
When we view the struggle that has existed for generations between men and women through the lens of this curse, our struggle makes sense.
We feel we’ve been cheated out of something, and we want it back.
But suppose what we’ve been cheated out of isn’t control?
Suppose it’s our core identity of being known and loved?
When Eve believed God was holding out on her, she pushed back and grasped for control.
For our girl Vashti, she already knew she was neither known nor loved by King Ahasuerus, so resting under his value of her was inconceivable.
How differently Vashti’s story could have been if her husband had valued her, known her deeply, and fought to protect her because he loved her?
How differently might our own stories be if we sink our fingers into the same truth?
If our value doesn’t come from perceived control….
If the reflection we see in the mirror is already viewed as beautiful….
If our biggest emotions and our deepest longings are fully known and satisfied….
If we are perfectly loved…
Wouldn’t our everyday stories be different?!
God knew Eve and He loved her, despite how she hard she fought for her own way.
God knew and loved Queen Vashti, regardless of how her husband devalued her.
God knows and loves each one of us, regardless of how we devalue ourselves or how we feel the need to fight for our own control.
God created us to enjoy the richest, fullest, most abundant life possible as we dance to the rhythm of His love. He crafted our stories to be played out under extravagant overtures of being fully known and deeply satisfied. Because we were irreparably broken under the heavy curse brought on by sin, He chose to pursue us as His beloved ones.
He took our curse upon Himself as He died in our place at the cross.
While we embraced lies that He was holding out on us, He surrendered everything to bring us back to Himself.
Often, like Queen Vashti, our thirst for value and significance press us against a wall, leaving us lusting for control and craving attention, but feeling cast off for not being “enough” in some form or fashion. What a difference it would make if we anchored on the shore of truth, knowing full well we were already known and loved!
YOU are known.
YOU are loved.
YOU have value and worth.
Let your true identity play out across the pages of your story!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!