- Susan Eaton
Read Esther, Chapter 1
What kind of story starts with “The End?” That’s crazy! But the book of Esther starts off that way. Because what we see at the very beginning is “the end” of Vashti.
Vashti was set aside.
Done away with.
I know that this ending is actually the beginning of our story about Esther and God’s work in the life of His people in Persia. But let’s not zoom past the fact that for Vashti, this was “the end.” It was the end of her status. The end of her role as queen of Persia.
Because Vashti didn’t allow herself to be abused and treated like a piece of meat by a delegation of drunken men - that included her husband - she was done away with…so that “someone more suitable” might be found to serve as queen.
Vashti is deposed and it is written into the irrevocable Persian law. It’s done. It’s finished. There is no changing it. Vashti is gone.
We don’t know what happened to Vashti. Was she killed? Or was she simply “set aside?”
Set aside to do nothing--
--To be out of the way.
--To not stand as an opposing voice against the whims of men who never truly saw her in the first place.
Vashti was set aside and we don’t know what happened. We just know that—for all intents and purposes—her story ended.
Have you ever felt “set aside?”
Maybe it was when a relationship ended because of a break-up, or divorce, or an act of unfaithfulness. Maybe it was getting fired from a job. Maybe it was because of a loss of a friendship or a betrayal. Or maybe it was just from being overlooked—for a promotion—or for attention—or by people in general.
Being “set aside” never feels good. We may think, “That’s it. That’s my story. There she is—there he is—the one that was set aside. The one that wasn’t good enough. The one that failed. The one that just…wasn’t.”
It may feel like you’re wearing a big sign on your forehead so everybody knows...You aren’t it. You weren’t chosen. Someone else was better than you.
But here’s the truth:
There is no “set-aside” in Christ.
Christ never sets anyone aside. There is no one who is not useful….not chosen…not accepted…not included…or not seen as essential and valuable. When we are in Christ, no matter how we experience being set aside by others, that is not the end of our story!
Vashti’s story ended. She had her space on the page and then it was over. THE END.
That is not true for us. Christ says our stories are not over. And no matter how you may be experiencing being set aside, it is only temporary. In your “set-asideness” let yourself be placed in Christ’s hands. Take some time to let him speak His truth over you. Listen to what He says about who you are. And let him re-start your story where it seems to have ended.