Everyone knows the story of Esther the little Jewish girl who became the Persian queen and we ‘ha’ and sigh at what a wonderful story it is. But in a recent study of the book of Esther, we saw something differently, and we found that the big difference between Esther and Vashti was that Esther responded to the king in Xerxes, but Vashti to the fool in him. You see, as insulting as this may seem, it seems like everyone has a fool somewhere in them, but they have a choice to discipline it or let it control them. The book of proverbs could not be any more accurate when it said, ‘anger dwells in the bosom of fools’ because king Xerxes anger really did expose the fool in him after Vashti’s refusal to come at his request: Esther 1:13 & 2:1. I am sure that so many of you, especially the ladies, would have responded as Vashti did, if his request was all about parading you like a trophy before his drunken guests. And this may very well be true, but not if you knew it could cost you your legacy or even your life. See, at the point of the request, the king was drunk and was only trying to please the guests by showing off his queen, and instead of a disgraceful, disrespectful and dishonorable response to the king’s summon, Vashti could have stepped up to the queen in her, lifted up her chin, and walked out with grace, knowing that because she was the queen, she could compose herself as such, and get a queen’s response from the crowd, rather than a cheap girl’s bells and whistles. Shortly after the demise of Vashti, we heard of Esther, who came to live on the palace grounds, probably aware of the king’s folly, but choosing not to identify with that on her evening with him. Following a trail of beautiful girls before her and after one night with the king, Esther won his favor and approval and emerged as the new Queen. Unlike many before her who probably appeared before the king in extravagant fashion to impress him with as much as they could find to adorn themselves with, Esther went before him, in simplicity, targeting all her focus on finding the king in him and not the simple man who had the luxury to be subject to his folly without consequences. Thanks to her Jewish and godly background, she knew there was more than surface beauty in her to offer the king for indeed a king must have a wife full of wisdom with which he can share his concerns for weighty matters. Esther found the king in him and the king responded to the queen in her. On the fateful day when her story could have ended worse than Vahsti’s, king Xerxes responded to his queen and granted her audience when she defied the law of the land and approached court without an invitation. And unlike Vashti who was subject to the laws of the land like any other commoner, and was easily disposed off by the people and the traditional laws, Esther’s worth before the king granted her access and favor, and a sceptre of welcome in place of judgement. I dare not say this is an easy switch to make, so many have spoken to the fool for so long that turning a new leaf to speak to the king might seem like learning a new language, but I must warn that it will do you no good to try to find the queen or king in them when all you see is the fool. But if you are to see change you must begin to speak to the one that you would like to respond to, whether or not they are acting like it. In some cases, we might have to work the process in reverse, when the fool is the one talking to us but we must response to the king. And rather than responding to the fool because it is so much easier, we must make the hard choice of responding to the king. This was Vashti’s downfall, the fool in Xerxes summoned her but she could have responded to the king in him. Her refusal to come before him, expressed disrespect for his high authority and his position as husband to her, but disrespect or disregard for a husband’s authority is never the best response to the fool in him, rather honor and wisdom must be employed. Besides, the fool doesn’t hang around all time, for in Esther 2:1, after his anger (and folly) subsided king Xerxes remembered Vashti, but his personal attendants quickly saw to it that other women were found to take his mind off her. So “one different” response could have kept Vashti’s throne and secured a different legacy for her. It is in your best interest to speak to the royalty in your spouse so that they can respond to the royalty in you.