This is not a post about you-know-who. She has gotten so much press and publicity that I don’t think I need to promote her by even saying her name.
This is a post about culture. Not youth culture. Not pop culture. But human culture. Other blogs I have read have pointed to the phrase in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “There is nothing new under the sun.” We’re still the same old humans living in the same old world promoting the same old sins.
Don’t believe me? Just compare the MTV Video Music Awards (and many other awards shows) to some of the parties thrown in the Bible.
Take the party of King Herod for instance. Mark 6:14-29 tells us a sad story that began with perverted, lustful entertainment and ended in the death of an innocent man. Herod had married his brother’s ex-wife, which would be taboo even today. John the Baptist called him out on his sin and was promptly thrown in prison. Fast forward to Herod’s birthday when he decided to host a huge banquet in honor of himself (not unlike many celebrities and pop stars today…). All the “celebrities” of the day were there – high officials, military commanders. and the leading men of Galilee.
And then there’s this: “When [his step-daughter] came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests” (Mark 6:22). [Next time on Dr. Phil…] She “pleased” him so much that he made an extravagant offer – “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
She didn’t want half the kingdom. She wanted the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter.
Unfortunately, I think we live in a world with far too many “step-daughters of Herod,” women who are more than willing to use their bodies as sexual objects to manipulate men into doing what they want. We have men who want to treat women like a piece of meat, and we have women who are more than happy to oblige. And it almost always ends in a downward spiral of sex and violence.
We don’t need any more of Herod’s step-daughters. We need more Queen Vashtis.
The book of Esther begins with a party lasting half a year. (And we have songs talking about parties that just won’t stop. Sheesh…) And of course once the party is over, the only way to end a six month festival is with a week long drinking party, right? Check out what happens.
On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him…to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. (Esther 1:10-12)
According to some, when it says she was summoned to come before them “wearing her royal crown,” the implication is “and not much else.” Vashti could very well have taken the road of self-promotion and paraded herself in front of a room full of drunken frat boys. But she would have had to toss out all her dignity and self-worth in the process.
Her dignity, confidence, and self-worth were more important that that royal crown. And she didn’t get her self-image was not based on what a room full of drunken idiots thought of her. Her husband knew the full extent of her beauty, and that was good enough for her. She didn’t take the attitude of, “If you got it, flaunt it.” She valued herself more than that.
I appreciate this video that my sister shared the other day. I was hesitant to watch it at first, but I figured my sister (a married mother of three) wouldn’t share anything inappropriate. It’s really worth watching, and it speaks to the great need for more Vashtis and fewer step-daughters of Herod.
[And men, I haven’t even gotten started on OUR issues. That would take many, many blog posts. If we were to treat women as human beings full of value and honor, we wouldn’t have these kinds of stories in the first place!]