Seeing God’s hand moving behind the scenes

Bob Deffinbaugh comments:

A slight shift in the events recorded in Esther would have doomed the Jews, except as Mordecai said, “help would come from someplace else.” Nevertheless, success in the small details mattered. As an Agagite, Haman may well have used his position against the Jews at the first provocation, whether it came from Mordecai or not. And so we have a web of God’s providence weaved into the fabric of the story:

  • Vasthi was removed as queen.
  • Esther was the young woman among hundreds to find favor with the king to become queen.
  • Mordecai was there to hear the plot against the king.
  • The king was lazy about rewarding Mordecai.
  • There was time granted in the casting of the Pur – nearly a year between the decree and the date of its execution – to allow for King Ahasuerus’ procrastination and for the Jews to prepare for their defense.
  • Esther was twice extended the golden scepter that spared her life.
  • King Ahasuerus agreed to attend the two banquets.
  • King Ahasuerus happened to read about Mordecai’s service between the two banquets.
  • There happened to have been a gallows, built by Haman, on which to hang him. Once the king’s anger subsided, he may have had second thoughts. After all, he did nothing about the Jew’s situation until Esther risked her life a second time.
  • The Jews prevailed over their enemies. It must be remembered that both decrees were in force. One can presume that there were battles fought.

And so the one who knows his God can see His hand even if Mordecai and Esther did not. This is grace and mercy. Unlike Daniel, who would not eat Nebuchadnezzar’s non-kosher food, and who publicly prayed even when it carried a death sentence, Esther concealed her identity and, therefore, ate whatever was placed before her. Neither she nor Mordecai appealed to Passover as a celebration of the Lord’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery, even though the celebration of Passover was at hand.

In short, Mordecai and Esther were not people of faith.

But the Lord God proved faithful to His people, and one of the grand purposes of the Book of Esther is to show the Lord’s preserving hand. We are led to see the Lord moving behind the scenes for the discerning eye to see.

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