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HOW MUCH IS THE PRICE OF MY SIN?


It is written, "for the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), and, this is the maximum penalty that can be handed down by any civil court. A question arises, and it is, why this harsh sentence for my sin? A sin that I may consider to be insignificant, for example, a simple white lie as it is referred to by many. Together, let us look into this matter from the story found in the Holy Bible in the first chapter of The Book of Esther.


"1 This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,[a](A) the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces(B) stretching from India to Cush[b]:(C) 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,(D) 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet(E) for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

4 For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. 5 When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days,(F) in the enclosed garden(G) of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. 6 The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches(H) of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. 7 Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality.(I) 8 By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet(J) for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits(K) from wine,(L) he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,(M) Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring(N) before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty(O) to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.(P

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13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times(Q) 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles(R) of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.(S

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19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king,(T) let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed,(U) that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language,(V) proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue."

To begin, it is noteworthy to mention that King Xerxes' wife, Queen Vashti, was faithful to her husband in that, she participated in her husband's celebration and gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace. Her fault, however, lay in the fact that she refused to come before her husband, King Xerxes, as to his request. A simple fault, in our point of view, yet, her disobedience led her to lose her husband and the royal position that she held in the kingdom.

 

By common standards, it is rare for a man to separate from his wife for having disobeyed him once. Howbeit, it is different with a king. This is so, given the fact that sin is measured by the value of the affected person. Even the simplest of sins can have great consequences, when the matter is brought before a king or president. What if, the particular sin in question is against the "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16)? Certainly, such a sin would be punishable by death. There is, however, a monumental difference between God and an earthly king in dealing with the issue of sin. The difference, is that our God is merciful as confirmed by His Word in Ezekiel 18:23, "Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?" For this cause, God planned to redeem us through His Son Who declared of Himself and said, "In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me" (John 18:37), and "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ took flesh in order to redeem all flesh that we could be righteous before God the Father. And so, we can rejoice in the truth of being called "children of God" (1 John 3:1), and enjoy His tender, merciful and loving Fatherhood which He graciously allows in Christ our Lord.

 

In closing, with humility and sincerity of heart, let us accept the salvation freely offered to us through the shedding of God's Only-begotten Son's precious blood. Also, let us faithfully submit ourselves to the Lord our God, with all the details of our lives, as we take Him to be our personal Saviour. Let us, with a bold and courageous spirit, declare our belonging to Him. In truth and in joy, let us reflect His image and be Christlike in fulfilling the will of our heavenly Father by seeking to save the souls of many. In this, as in all things, may our Lord and God be our daily Helper for the glory of His holy name. Amen.

 

 

By: Laith Maqadsi

Edited by R.A.

 
 

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