The Verdict of Pleasure an Untrustworthy Basis of Action
Esther 2:4
And let the maiden which pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.

If wisdom and goodness sometimes make all profit they can by embracing opportunity, much more often do policy and evil. For the "children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light." They most studiously adapt means to end; they most patiently bide their time; they most unerringly, in this disordered scene, this dislocated system, see and snatch the opportunity. Let us observe here the appeal made to the King Ahasuerus -

I. IN THE LIGHT OF THE OPPORTUNE TIME AT WHICH IT WAS MADE. Meaning much there was in that time. The moment makes often the difference. Now the moment and the man met. A cheerless blank before the king. An aching void within him, as though emptiness were the most veritable existence. We do not indeed read that of this inner vacancy the king said a word or uttered a complaint; he would not make so humiliating a confession. But whether he did so or not, it was no doubt seen, and he was seen through by the minions of his retinue and his court. His own "wrath," and, as we have reason to know, matters of state and matters of war, had helped him tide over several months; but un-ease at heart can be no longer endured, and is bound to betray him. Neither momentary diversion of heart nor months' diversion of mind destroys facts, nor turns back dissatisfaction's natural tide. The most they do is to arrest awhile, certain to aggravate after a while.

II. IN THE LIGHT OF THE SPECIAL INNER PREPARATION FOR IT WHICH THE WHOLE HERETOFORE COURSE OF HIS LIFE HAD MADE. That antecedent course of life might have been judged to be a deliberately-constituted preparation for such a moment as the present. No outward opportunity for good or evil, no outward invitation of gain or loss, is comparable for effect with that opportuneness which is, which is made, which grows within. There is no such ripeness of time as that which comes of ripeness of disposition. If the spark also is to have its fair chance, it must fall on touch-paper, dry wood, gunpowder. If an ill-starred suggestion, or the happiest, holiest impulse, is to have each its own due course, the one and the other must fall, though in time's briefest instant, upon the material of a character that has been consciously or unconsciously fitting and maturing a long time for each respectively. An instant's mere hint, whether of good or had, will not mean much, except it come upon the product of months' or years' education; but if it light upon this, it may.

III. IN THE UNJUSTIFIABLY READY AND HASTY ACCEPTANCE OF IT. There was apparently no consideration of the proposal contained in it. There was certainly no careful exercise of the judgment upon it. No counsellors are called in as before. The seven "wise men which saw the king's face, and sat the first in the kingdom," are not called in to consult. Nay, not so much as an hour's time is reserved before an answer. It seems plainly that all was considered safe, and he acted on a momentary impulse, thinking only of self-gratification. "The thing pleased the king; and he did so. Self-pleasure is made the basis of conduct. The thing that pleases is the right. The thing that pleases is to be done. Poor learner, Ahasuerus! He has already forgotten what he was remembering, regretting, only yesterday - the hasty thing which was decreed against Vashti." And that also was at the suggestion of others - ratified at his own pleasure. - B.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.

WEB: and let the maiden who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." The thing pleased the king, and he did so.

The Weak and Lowly
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