A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
The plan of Mordecai and Esther is both daring and ingenious. If the king is even in a bad mood when she appears without his request, she may be killed for her insubordination. If he dislikes what she has to say, she may face the identical outcome. The act of even approaching her own husband is therefore heroic on Esther’s part.
On the other hand, to accuse the king’s own right-hand man of misconduct could also lead to rejection; so rather than a direct confrontation, Esther feigns to honor the king and his lieutenant at a dinner party. Since he has just offered her any favor she asks, up to half his kingdom (which may be a way of expressing his choice of her as his first wife and empress as well as royal hyperbole), her request is immediately and gladly accepted.
Meanwhile, in building Mordecai’s gallows, Haman effectively begins digging his own grave. The king, unable to sleep in the early morning hours, calls for records of his reign to be read to him as he enjoys hearing them. His servant brings him the volume and happens to read from the place in which Mordecai had identified two traitors in the king’s guard and thus saved his life. Suddenly realizing that he had not properly rewarded this action, the king decides to belatedly honor and elevate this hero.
Calling Haman, who, in his arrogance and pride completely misreads what is said, the king arranges to honor Mordecai (whose gallows Haman has even just then been working on!). At the dinner, Esther reveals that she is a Jew and that Haman has plotted to kill all her people, therefore her as well. Haman’s response makes things even worse for him, and he is soon hanged. The king, whose edict allowing the destruction of the Jews cannot be recalled, designs another which allows them both to preserve their lives and regain their wealth.
The result of all this is the celebration of Purim, the festival which recalls the deliverance of the Jewish people through the help of King Xerxes, made possible by the efforts of Mordecai, who will never be forgotten again, and Esther, the Jewish girl who became queen of Persia.
Do you ever wish you were more cunning? Are you ever mistreated and wish you could design some measure of revenge? The story of Esther is a reminder that God is at work and able to protect and deliver us when and as He sees fit. We can trust His judgment, His timing and the outcome of His plan for our lives.
What we can never do is anticipate all the twists and turns it may take along the way. God’s sovereignty, however, never obscures His gracious love. We may become lost in our circumstances and feelings to the point we forget Him. but He never forgets us. Today, remind yourself that however things look, God cares and He will see you through to the end – only you will feel better along the way if you keep trusting Him.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010