Seen or Unseen, God is Working

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Esther

Esther 1-2, “Seen or Unseen, God is Working”

Question: do you trust that God is working?  At all times, in every situation?  Even during the times that we perhaps despair a bit & can’t understand what God is doing – can we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is indeed at work?  Hopefully, your answer is a resounding “yes”!  We CAN know that God is always working, even when we may not directly see His hand.

The Bible tells us that God is sovereign over all things.  It tells us that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven & on earth.  It tells us that every good & perfect gift comes from God.  It tells us that God will cause all things to work for good for those who love God & who are called according to His purpose.  Over & over again, the Bible affirms that God is always in control – so even when we come to those times in our lives when it’s hard to actually see God at work, we can know that He is.  (If you haven’t experienced those times yet, be assured that you will!)

This is one of the themes that is made abundantly clear in the little book of Esther.  Esther is unique among the books of the Bible in that God actually isn’t mentioned at all.  It’s a book about the salvation of the Jewish people in the middle of the Persian empire, but it’s a book that treats their Jewish heritage at arms-length – acknowledging their ancestry, but doing virtually nothing with their faith. 

With that in mind, and knowing that every book of the Bible is somehow supposed to lead us to the feet of Jesus Christ, it brings up a very important question.  How do you learn about God from a book that never even mentions His name?  We may not see His name, but we definitely see His deeds.  Because God is the one that raises up kings & takes down kings (Dan 2:21), we know that God is at work in every event here…even if the author of the book never gives Him direct credit.  In Esther, what we find is not so much the theology of God, but the workings of God.  We watch Him in action has He protects His people, and provides for them in the most dire of circumstances.  Just as Jesus taught Nicodemus that we cannot see the wind, but we can watch His actions when it comes to giving people a new birth in their salvation (Jn 3:8), so we can witness the actions of God in marvelous ways in the book of Esther.  God orchestrates a situation in which a Jewish orphan girl can rise up to be queen in Persia – God arranges for a Jewish uncle to be honored by one who sought to kill him – God protects His covenant people from extermination…and in so doing, God protects His promise of the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus.

So how do we see it all take place?  First, God has to give the Jews a voice in the kingdom of Persia, and He does so by allowing an orphan girl become queen.  Yet in order to do that, there’s got to be a vacancy in the queen-ship, and that’s what God does through a bit of hard-headedness on the part of the person who was there first.

Esther 1 (NKJV)

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),

  1. Sets up the scene.  The king was Ahasuerus – better known by his Greek name of Xerxes.  This tells us that the order of the historical books as they are placed in our OT are somewhat misleading.  Esther may come after Nehemiah in our Bibles, but the events actually take place in the middle of the book of Ezra – after the 1st wave of return to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel, but before the 2nd wave of return under Ezra.
  2. Note also how the author is setting up the importance & influence of the king.  King Ahasuerus reigned over 127 provinces, ranging from the far borders of the middle east (current day Pakistan) all the way to Africa.  When dealing with the politics of this particular kingdom, we’re not going to be talking about minor city-states or provinces (like the Philistines); we’re dealing with major empires – THE superpower of the day.  Xerxes was a powerful man & those who served in his court were extremely powerful people.

 

2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel, 3 that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him— 4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.

  1. If “Shushan” sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same palace city in which Nehemiah was serving (or “will be serving”) his king prior to going back to Jerusalem.  It’s quite possible that Nehemiah was allowed to receive his position of prominence (cupbearer – wine-taster for the king) as a result of how God raised up Esther & Mordecai years earlier.
  2. At this point, Ahasuerus is showing off his kingdom.  He’s the sovereign king over 127 lands, and so for 180 days he “struts his stuff.”  It’s unlikely that the feast lasted 180 days (6 months), but rather it was a proclamation of the greatness of his kingdom…perhaps bookended by feasts at the beginning & end of the celebration.
    1. This is man in his vanity – but one day we will celebrate the majesty of a kingdom of Someone actually worthy of the glory: the Lord Jesus Christ!  When King Jesus reigns from Jerusalem during the Millennium, all of the saints will be able to rejoice with Him, and the feast we will attend (the wedding feast of the Lamb) will put to shame all of the feasts that ever came before!

 

5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. 6 There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble. 7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king. 8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure.

  1. The concluding feast made a point of accenting the riches of the kingdom.  Gold & silver were everywhere – alabaster & marble were the pavement…it would have been quite a sight of luxury to all who attended!  If the author emphasized the power of the king earlier, now he emphasis the wealth of the king.  All of this is setting up the context for what’s about to happen.
  2. Note that everyone in the city was invited – or at the very least, everyone in the palace (the citadel).  Everyone was going to be a witness to the proceedings, which plays an important role for how the king will respond to the events taking place.
  3. We get one final note about the character of the king in all of this – as seen in the drinking.  Typically, the cultural rule was for everyone to drink whenever the king lifted his own cup.  If he drank, you drank as a sign of your submission.  Obviously the king generously gave out enough wine for everyone to drink in abundance, but he also gave people the freedom to drink when they wanted & only if they wanted.  This was not a man who forced compulsion from his people, but rather a king that was benevolent towards the masses (at least in this instance!).

 

9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.

  1. The 1st queen is introduced.  Not only did the king have a feast for the men; the queen had a feast for the women.  This is where she’s going to get into some trouble.

 

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

  1. Get the full scene here: the king has been drinking for 7 days straight & then commands his queen to come before all of the rest of the drunken men in order to show off her beauty.  Not exactly the most “husbandly” thing to do…  Keep in mind that their cultural sensibilities were not the same as our own.  The Bible is not recommending that Godly husbands treat their wives the same way; it’s just recording how a pagan king treated his wife.
  2. At the same time, even if his command was chauvinistic, it was still a command of the king.  As the king, he was showing off all of his riches & majesty – and (right or wrong), that included the queen.  If he wanted to show her off, it was her duty to respond & to come at his command.  That she did not caused the king to be “furious.”  Keep in mind that this is more than a wife refusing the unreasonable request of her drunken husband; this was a queen denying the wishes of her king.  The king could rule over 127 different provinces, but he couldn’t rule over his own wife.  At this point, the situation has moved from a marriage squabble to a threat to the rule of the king of Persia over the entire empire.  If she could deny him, what other country would need to obey him?
  3. Is she being disobedient?  Yes.  But if you’re familiar with the story, you know where this is leading.  This is the direct event that is going to cause a new wife for the king to be chosen, and for Esther to come into this position.  Is God sovereign over Vashti’s actions?  Absolutely.  Obviously God did not force Vashti to make any particular choice or engage in disobedience of her husband, but God certainly had a plan for Vashti’s disobedience & would use it for His own glory.  To think of it in another way: God used the seemingly righteous indignation of a pagan woman (who likely knew nothing of the true God) to help bring about the salvation of His people.  Vashti didn’t have a clue what was going on – but God did.
    1. If that’s true of Vashti, how much more is it true of us?  Sometimes we might not have a clue as to what’s going on.  Sometimes it might seem as if everything is just working in chaos.  Yet we can be assured that it is not.  Even in the midst of people’s sins, God can use everything for His purposes & for His glory.  Though Adam’s sin, God brought the promise of the glorious Messiah.  Through Judas’ betrayal, Jesus fulfilled prophecy by dying on the cross.  Through Saul’s sin, he was on the road of persecution when stopped by the Lord & converted to Paul.  God does not condone our sin (nor does He force us to engage in sin), but God CAN and God DOES use sin ultimately for His glory.  He does not want us to sin, but our sin is not more powerful than our infinitely powerful God.  Through Christ, we can be assured that God will use ALL things for His glory.  (Be it His glory in salvation, or His glory in judgment.)

 

13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king’s manner toward all who knew law and justice, 14 those closest to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king’s presence, and who ranked highest in the kingdom): 15 “What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus brought to her by the eunuchs?”

  1. The king understood that Vashti’s disobedience had bigger ramifications than just as an embarrassment to her husband.  He was certainly offended, but he needed to understand the legal necessities.  So he asked his 7 closest advisors what to do.
  2. The author demonstrates one further aspect about Ahasuerus’ character here: this was a king who honored the law.  What was written in the law-books needed to be enforced.  Keep this in mind for how he deals with Esther’s uncle.

 

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath.

  1. The advisor Memucan lays out the problem.  The primary danger he saw was that Vashti would serve as an example to the other wives in the kingdom.  (They weren’t willing for women’s lib to come just yet! J)  If Vashti could disobey the king, then all the other wives could disobey their own husbands.  The basic order of roles within the home would be upset…which ultimately would lead to contempt & rebellion against the king himself.  If the king valued his own rule, he needed to deal with his queen swiftly & publicly in order to discourage other wives from doing the same thing.
  2. Question: are they all overreacting here?  Sure.  But that was the culture of the day.  We’ve got to be careful to read the Bible in the context of which it was written.

 

19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 When the king’s decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.”

  1. The solution?  Write a law removing Vashti from being queen & give it to someone else.  Make an example out of Vashti, so that the other wives would honor their husbands.  Again – this isn’t the Bible recommending the specific actions of the Persians; it’s just accurately recording what they did.  Although the order between husbands & wives within the home is indeed important, a problem with it does not justify a husband divorcing his wife because she disobeyed him.
  2. The Bible DOES tell wives to respect their husbands & to submit to them (Eph 5:22,33).  Doing so is a demonstration of their submission unto the Lord Jesus, and it mirrors the role that the Church is to take with the Lord Jesus (as the bride to the bridegroom).  At the same time, the Bible tells husbands to love their wives in sacrificial service, as Jesus did with the Church (Eph 5:25) – it tells husbands to dwell with their wives with understanding, in order that our prayers may not be hindered (1 Pet 3:7).  The standard that God has for husbands and wives definitely has order & roles for each person – but ultimately it’s based upon the work of Christ…a reflection of His love for us & the example of submission He gave to His Heavenly Father.

 

21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 Then he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.

  1. Ahasuerus followed through on the advice, and gave the command to be written & distributed throughout the empire.  That it was written in the common languages of the people emphasizes the fact that Ahasuerus wanted no misunderstanding on the issue.  He was showing his supremacy over his own house, and thus over the whole of the empire.

 

Esther 2 (NKJV)

1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.

  1. Over time, things calmed down & it seemed that the king missed having his wife (“he remembered Vashti”).  He had given the order for Vashti to be banished from his presence, but hadn’t yet followed up on the advice to have someone take her place.  Obviously he couldn’t (and wouldn’t) undo the law, but he needed a new queen.

 

2 Then the king’s servants who attended him said: “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king; 3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them. 4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This thing pleased the king, and he did so.

  1. Think of this as the ancient Persian equivalent of “The Dating Game” (or “The Bachelor”).  Only instead of a handful of potential women chosen, the army went throughout the entire city & gathered up every virgin to be brought to the king for choosing.  The young women didn’t have any choice in the matter; the king needed a new wife & he was going to choose a new wife from the pick of the city.  Every beautiful unmarried girl was a potential addition to his harem.

 

5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. 6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

  1. Mordecai is introduced.  He seems to have come from a famous family – potentially going back to the same Shimei who was a relative of King Saul (son of Kish) who had cursed David during Absalom’s rebellion.  If those had indeed been his relatives, they had obviously long died prior to the Babylonian captivity.  The author’s main point is simply that Mordecai’s family was able to trace directly back to Jerusalem during the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar.
  2. This actually brings up a good question about Mordecai.  His family had come from Jerusalem…why hadn’t Mordecai returned there?  Under the Persian king Cyrus, Zerubbabel had received permission to take anyone back to Jerusalem who wanted to go.  Over 42,000 men had returned with Zerubbabel – yet Mordecai wasn’t one of them.  We’ll find that he was obviously a man of boldness & loyalty to his heritage – he would have been a perfect candidate to accompany the rest of the crowd back to Jerusalem.  Why didn’t he go?
    1. Scripture doesn’t explicitly tell us what Mordecai’s reasoning was – but we can certainly see God’s hand in Mordecai’s choice to remain in Persia.  Obviously if Mordecai had left, he would have taken Hadassah/Esther with him.  If Hadassah had gone with him, she would not have been queen.  If she had not been queen, she would not have been able to intervene on behalf of the Jewish people.  When we start tracing the potential impact of the various choices here, it can blow our minds!
    2. THIS is the immensity of the mind of God!  What is incomprehensible for us because of the infinite possibilities is completely thought through & planned for by Almighty God.  God knew exactly who would need to be in Shushan during this exact time that the king needed a new queen, and God used Mordecai’s choice to remain in Persia in order to accomplish that goal.  What seemed to be a (somewhat) simple choice of where to live ended up being a monumental decision that saved the race of the Jews. 
    3. How important it is to keep our lives in submission to the will of God!  It’s not a matter of being overwhelmed by our daily choices, wondering what kind of eternal impact we would have missed out on by choosing the green shirt vs. the red shirt (or whatever) – it’s simply a matter of being directed by God the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives…trusting that whatever decisions we make are being guided by His hand.  Proverbs 3:5–6 “(5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” []  We don’t explicitly know Mordecai’s devotional life, but his character & trust imply that he had a undergirding faith in God.  It should be likewise with us – in everything we do, we trust the Lord, lean upon the teaching of the word of God, give God the praise for everything in our lives, and then trust that God is going to guide us regarding all of our decisions.  (Even the seemingly “mundane” ones that may end up having an eternal impact, whether we realize it or not!)

 

8 So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. 9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

  1. Esther was a beautiful young woman & a virgin in her house, so she was taken into the custody of the king, just like the other young women in town.  God blessed her to attract the attention of the eunuch in charge of the women – and she gained his “favor,” and he ended up giving her extra attention as a result.
    1. Interestingly enough, the word used for “favor” = Hb “chesed” = “loyal love; covenantal love; mercy; kindness.”  It’s the word most often used of God when describing His love for His covenantal people.  Perhaps the author is hinting here at the work of God in Esther’s life…
  2. There’s a bit of OT pattern here being demonstrated as well.  Esther was a woman favored by God in that she had been shown favor in an unfavorable land.  Just like Joshua…  Sold into slavery, imprisoned in Egypt, Joshua had gained favor with everyone that he met & God raised him up to be 2ndin command to Pharoah.  Just like Daniel…  Taken away in captivity from Jerusalem, Daniel obtained the favor of the eunuchs, and obtained the favor of King Nebuchadnezzar when God blessed him with the interpretation of the king’s dream.  Eventually, he became one of the king’s chief advisors.  Likewise here with Esther.  She is given supernatural favor from God – and we’ll see how much God does with her because of it.
    1. Keep in mind that every single person in Christ has been shown the supernatural favor of God!  You’ve been born of the Holy Spirit & have Christ Himself indwells you.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be promoted at your job or given the ear of kings & officials – but it does mean that God can use you for His glory in whatever capacity He gives you.  What an amazing privilege it is to be used by the God of all the universe!

 

10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.

  1. Esther is primarily known by her Persian name (meaning “star”), rather than her Jewish name of Hadassah (meaning “myrtle”).  It was common for Jews to have two names while in captivity – in this case, the double names served to guard Esther’s ethnic heritage as a Jew.  Mordecai had wisely advised her to keep it secret, and she followed her cousin’s advice.
  2. Question: was Mordecai ashamed of his Jewish heritage?  Of course not.  The issue wasn’t one of racial pride; it was simple safety.  The Jews had experienced quite a bit of benevolence in the land of Persia, but ultimately they were still servants there.  The longer that Esther could keep her background secret, the better it would be for her.
    1. Ultimately, we find the hand of God at work here as well.  It’s because her identity is secret that she can reveal it at the proper time & save her people from destruction.
    2. Jesus told us to be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves (Mt 10:16).  Sometimes we need to be cautious in how we express our faith – not from a standpoint of being afraid to be known as a Christian (perish the thought!), but rather to be wise in how we proclaim our faith in order that we would be most effective for the kingdom.  [Pastor burning the Koran.  He had the right, but he didn’t have wisdom…]
  3. Of course, Mordecai was very interested in knowing what happened to Esther.  He had a great love for her as basically an adopted father – but it shows that he kept up with her throughout all of these exploits.  He could see what God was doing in her life, and was able to advise Esther appropriately when the time came.

 

12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. 13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.

  1. Description of the preparations of the virgins for the king.  12 months of being bathed in perfume & other beauty treatments… (And we think that a couple of hours at a beauty salon is a long time! J)  After the year of preparations, she would be summoned to spend one night with the king.  If he was pleased, he’d keep her as queen – if not, he’d send her back to the 2nd harem.  Basically, the girls would live in luxury the rest of their lives, but basically be imprisoned as a concubine of the king.  Again – not a recommendation; just an accurate recording of history.

 

15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.

  1. Esther’s turn came for her to go to the king – she followed the directions of the chief eunuch (the one who had given her extra treatments & advice), and she received favor from everyone who met her.  Again, like Joshua in Egypt, God raised her up in the eyes of those who knew her.  God’s work behind the scenes here is obvious.

 

16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.

  1. Finally, Esther sees the king & finds favor in his sight as well.  Not much here is said of his love for her, though it’s interesting that it is indeed mentioned.  It seems that Ahasuerus had a genuine affection for Esther.  Even as an arranged marriage, the king’s love seemed to be sincere for her – one more blessing from the Lord for her sake.
  2. The king gives Esther a marriage, the crown, and a national feast in her honor.  (Apparently, she made quite an impact on him!)  Quite a change for an orphan girl from a servant people in the land!  In an instant, she goes from obscurity to the queen of all Persia…all because of the favor shown to her by the king.
    1. As believers in Christ, we’ve all experienced something similar – though to a far greater extreme.  We were not just orphans (a people with no connections to God whatsoever), we were outright enemies of God.  And yet because of the grace and favor shown to us by the King, we’ve been brought into the royal household & been forgiven of our sins – we’ve been called the friends of God – we’ve been given the spirit of adoption by which we can call God our “Abba Father” – we’ve been given the blessing of being made the Bride of Christ – we will share in His glorious inheritance for all eternity.  What an amazing thing it is to experience the grace & favor of the King of Kings!

 

19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate. 20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

  1. Note that Mordecai had a position at the palace.  Being there, he was able to continue to advise Esther – and he paid careful attention to ensure the new queen still didn’t reveal her family background.  God had the right time for Esther’s background to be made known, and in the meantime God used the influence of Mordecai to keep it quiet.

 

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

  1. Being in the king’s gate, Mordecai was in the position to hear a lot of news.  The gate was the area in which a lot of business was conducted – apparently including unsavory business as well.  Mordecai overheard the conspiracy against the king & passed the news along to Esther, who in turn informed the king, giving Mordecai all of the credit.  The criminals were hanged (not a rope; impalement upon a spear), and Mordecai’s name was officially recorded in the king’s documents.
  2. Keep this in mind for later.  This is yet another instance of the providence of God – providing an official record of Mordecai’s loyalty & service to the king of Persia.

 

Conclusion:

Although the scene is still being set for events yet to come, already we see the providence of God all over the place!  A queen is removed, allowing a new queen to be chosen – all by the hand of God.  A family secret is kept, and a secret conspiracy is revealed – all by the hand of God.  Favor is shown to the palace guard, and favor is shown to the new queen – again, all by the hand of Almighty God.  The name of God may not be mentioned, but His providential love and actions are clearly seen – like the wind blowing the force of a hurricane!

It’s so important to remember that God is always at work.  All over the world, in the lives of pagans, and especially in the lives of His own children – God is always at work, working all things for His glory.  Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” []  What is it that you’re having a hard time trusting God with?  If you’re part of the “called” of God (a born-again believer in Jesus Christ), you can be assured that God is going to use even the worst of circumstances for His glory!

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