But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. Esther 1:12
King Ahaseurus gave an order to his wife to appear before him and his impressive array of princes. She was to be adorned in splendor, wearing her royal crown. The king and his guests were drunk so Queen Vashti refused his request. The king was furious. He was the ruler of 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia yet he could not rule his own anger. Such a powerful man was captive to his own heart.
The irony burns within me. Of what value is one in authority if he is not in control of himself? His leadership will be deeply flawed. Those under him may submit to him out of fear but they will not respect him. He will be unable to provide an environment of safety to his subjects. The umbrella of spiritual protection will have holes in it ~ allowing the enemy access. Everyone underneath him will be vulnerable to the fallout of his immoral character. This is true whether it’s the kingdom of Persia, a country under a president, a small organization, or a home. Sin begets sin.
I consider how the sins of King Ahaseurus permeated the hierarchy. Drunkenness, anger and intimidation became the culture. Immoral leadership allowed the likes of Haman to be promoted. His ideas and biases flourished because there was spiritual blindness. Solomon wrote, When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2
The same dynamic happens when a leader is legalistic. Condemnation and guilt become the agents of change. A culture of judgement infects the people.
When sexual sin is swept under the rug, a culture of sexual immorality is introduced and you can be sure there will be more of the same. Someone once shared with me that they attended a church where sexual harassment was commonplace. The leadership was soft when asked to confront it. Why? They were numb to the severity of the sin because it had been the culture of the church for the past 75 years. Many grew up in it and learned from those before them to make light of it.
Solomon’s words prove true yet again. If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked. Proverbs 29:12
Lord, for every one reading this who exists under toxic leadership, keep us sensitive to righteousness. Give us courage to go against the tide. Amen