Here is our Scripture memory for the 1st sermon in Esther. It helps us to do a couple of things. First, it allows us to understand that historical situation behind Esther's rise to prominence. The present queen, Vashti, was going to be deposed because of her refusal to dance before Xerxes and his guests.
Second, it helps us to see into Persian culture, and the way they thought about beauty and positions of honor. We think democratically; it's who we are as a people. Everybody gets a say in who gets exalted in our culture. We vote. They thought autocratically. It was solely the king's decision, and it was based on his personal pleasure and perspective. If you're better than Vashti, it was ultimately because the king decided you were.
Third, it helps us to see the invisible yet invincible hand of God through rebellion and arrogance. God isn't mentioned, but he is working through Vashti's stubbornness, Xerxes' pride, and Esther's beauty altogether for the good of his people and for his own glory.
It's a little long, so you might just want to memorize the section that is in bold type. If you're extra ambitious, you can memorize the whole verse. We'll all take some time to say/quote it out loud during Sunday morning's message.
So have at it. Hide God's Word in your heart, that you might not sin against him!
Esther 1:19 (ESV)
If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.