The Book Of Esther And God’s Providence

In the Book of Esther, God’s name is never mentioned, but you can clearly see the fingerprints of God’s sovereignty throughout the book.

Queen Vashti Rebels

The Book of Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God by name. It doesn’t matter because you can see God’s divine fingerprints over everything that happens. Maybe that’s the point; when we see no evidence of God moving in our life, and it seems we’re on the brink of catastrophe, God moves in history and time to do what He purposed to do long ago. It’s not so much history occurring as it is “His-story” unfolding. The fact that the Jews fasted presumes belief in God, and prayer must have been a priority because they were in danger of annihilation, so the Book of Esther begins in the days of “Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel” (Esther 1:1-2). This was one powerful king with a huge kingdom. When the king commanded that they “bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at” (Esther 1:11), “Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs” (Esther 1:12). The king responds by seeking out a new queen, and that’s where Esther enters the picture of history, or His-story.

Esther Crowned Queen

It must be remembered that Esther may have had no choice but to wed the king. Some who criticize her for this don’t understand that the Jews were subjects of the kingdom and the king, like everyone else, so she probably had no choice. Besides, Esther never intentionally sought out the crown, but rather, it was God’s divine providence that brought her there. Providence basically means to see head of time: Pro for “look ahead” and videre for “to see.” In the Bible it often refers to God’s provisions that are made beforehand. In this case, God provided a queen for the king, and a Jewish queen at that, and she, being the queen, could seek an opportunity to speak to the king. Later, this would prove to be most convenient for the Jews. When Mordecai uncovered a plot to murder the king, he told Queen Esther who told the king. This may have saved the king’s life (Esther 2:19-23), but for some reason, Mordecai’s discovery went largely unnoticed and unrewarded. Much later, all of that would prove to be very important.

Haman Plots Against the Jews

When Mordecai refused to kneel before Haman, as all were commanded to do, Mordecai became so incensed that he plotted to exterminate all the Jews in the kingdom (Esther 3:5-6), so Haman comes to the king and accuses the Jews of breaking the king’s laws, saying, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them.” (Esther 3:8). To entice the king to go along with the plot, Haman says, “I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries” (Esther 3:9). The king agreed but for the wrong reasons. Haman had tricked the king into signing a law that would wipe out all the Jews in the land. Thankfully, Mordecai discovered the plot and came to Queen Esther to have her intercede for the Jews. Mordecai said, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14)? Queen Esther’s told Mordecai to declare a three day fast among all the Jews, and then gave a legendary reply; “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16b). There were three possible outcomes for Esther; she could perish when she went before the king; she could perish when Haman’s plot was fulfilled; or…she could get the king to amend the law and stop the coming slaughter of the Jews.

Insomnia Saves a People

Here is where we being to see God intervention. It must have been near the end of the Jews three-day fast that there was a “night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king” (Esther 6:1). That would surely put anyone to sleep, but the king discovered that Mordecai had uncovered a plot to kill the king, but he was never recognized or reward for it (Esther 6:3). That’s when the king asked Haman to “Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor’” (Esther 6:9), and that man, to Haman’s great dismay, was Mordecai. When Queen Esther tells the king what Haman was about to do to her people (the Jews), the king was outraged, and they hanged Haman on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.

Conclusion

Still, with no mention of God, God saves the Jews through His divine providence. He even used the enemy’s work (Haman) against him. Queen Esther’s bravery, and the Jews willingness to afflict themselves before God, was all part of God’s providence to do what He had planned to do already. Nothing has ever occurred to God. God is never caught by surprise. Even a bad case of insomnia could be used for much good. That’s often how God works, using evil for good (Gen 50:20; John 3:16)…or even a bad case of insomnia.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

"The abject sickness and depraved nature of those who make their living lying to children!Catholic ..."

But God
"Well said Mr. Santiago. I had not thought of that one. Thank you sir."

But God
"Thank you so kindly my friend. You are encouraging (Psalm 115:1)."

Cats, Me, and God
"Another amazing piece. Keep up the great work, Pastor Wellman! Jesus bless you."

Cats, Me, and God

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pud

    “Nothing has ever occurred to God. God is never caught by surprise.”

    Really? Then why and how was he disappointed that mythical “adam and eve” ate of the tree of knowledge? Why didn’t he know this was going to happen? If he did know then he obviously set them up which would clearly be a sadistic act right? If he didn’t know then he wasn’t omniscient was he?

    When will you ever see the lunacy that is your life?

  • pud

    The shear lunacy of infantile “belief” in a Bronze Age book, talking snakes and unicorns!

    You are here…..https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/25/605622779/you-are-here-scientists-unveil-precise-map-of-more-than-a-billion-stars

    • hug

      It is technically an Iron Age book. And the NT is neither Bronze Age or Iron Age – it comes after both.

      If you want to use a snarky chronologically arrogant term to imply you are smarter than the people who preceded you merely because you were born after them, the correct term would be “Ancient Book.”

      • pud

        Wow! You sure bitchslapped me with that one!

        I am infinitely more knowledgeable than the barbaric goat herders of both the Bronze and Iron Age.

        • hug

          I bet you are! They didn’t even have CNN or iPads!

          • pud

            But they had a burning bush! No wonder so many christians model their lives after a book like this!

          • hug

            No, kidding. I remember watching Rev Martin Luther King, Jr stand up to a repressive regime after getting death threats toward his newborn daughter – he got up and talked about his “Dream”.

            All I could think was… ….this guy thinks burning bushes talk?

            I was watching Stephen Colbert last night on the Late Show. And I just sit there shaking my head. This guy believes in talking unicorns and sky fairies? And he has talk show? On CBS?

  • hug

    I’ve not studied Ether yet. I have read it, but it has been awhile. Very interesting points. Recently, believe it or not, a message board poster on a different religion forum began throwing Ether in my face and saying “Ah ha! You didn’t even know it doesn’t mention God. Gotcha! I know more than you! Christians don’t know their own bible (I think he said “babble” for Bible, clever, eh?)… bla bla bla, hrmph hrmph hrmph.”

    Anyway, good timing! Spot on.

    • pud

      I prefer “buybull”

      • hug

        Zing! You just showed The Bible who is boss! I’d like to see some Bronze Age goat herders come up with something so clever! Never gonna happen.

        • pud

          That’s true…they were completely humorless like your invisible undetectable deity.

          • hug

            If they even existed. It is quite possible the Babble Buy Bull writers completely fabricated the entire Bronze Age goat herder culture to dupe gullible Christians. But if they did exist, they would probably be a bunch of fuddy puddy party poopers who trolled Bronze Age cynics’ message boards. They probably never had anything funny or good to offer.

  • Carlos Santiago

    Brings to mind the comments of Paul, 1 Corinthians 13
    For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    • pud

      Wow! The genius of a barbaric murderer who had psychotic visions! Where do I sign up?

    • hug

      Have you seen Paul, Apostle of Christ yet? Whoa! That movie moved me.

      • pud

        As real as spiderman!

  • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

    Assuming that Mordecai spoke the truth in Esther 4:13-14, I agree that there were “three possible outcomes for Esther”, two of which were death. Therefore, I do not think it was brave of her to attempt to intercede with King Ahasuerus. It was either that or die.

    She risked her own life if she attempted to speak to him. She would bring death upon herself and her father’s house if she did not attempt to speak to him.

    Therefore, I think her choice was not as difficult as it is popularly believed to be.

    I agree that although God is not mentioned by name in the Book of Esther, it was He who delivered the Jews from Haman’s plot, and that the fasting was instrumental in His plan to save them.

  • pud

    “Maybe that’s the point; when we see no evidence of God moving in our life, and it seems we’re on the brink of catastrophe,”

    Also called DELUSION, MAKE BELIEVE or PRETEND. It’s also the very definition of GULLIBLE, FOOLISH, CREDULOUS, and a main symptom of indoctrination in a cult. It is what ignorant people do or how children assign cause and effect. It’s infantile, absurd, stupid and leaping to a preconception rather than seeking the truth.

    But then again jack…since when have you EVER cared about what was actually true?

    • hug

      Remember when you called The Bible the Buy Bull?

      That was so funny! Are you going to do that again?

      I thought of another one: The Bye Bowl! Get it? LOL!