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.
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.