In the last post, we saw from Esther 1:1-8 that God is present, active and in complete control. The author of the book of Esther knew when he began to write that he was telling a story about how, against all odds, the fate of God’s people was reversed. God is always at work. This is the big picture we need to see if we are going to put our anxieties in life on hold. There are two terms I want us to grasp. Providence is God’s faithful and effective care and guidance of everything which He has made toward the end which He has chosen. God’s providence means He will get His will done according to His plan and His timing. Fate is the idea that the power of cause and effect determines the outcomes of life. Fate is personified in the statement, “It is what it is.”
Esther’s story is God’s story. History is His Story. God is in no hurry. He has the long view of eternity in sight. He is not a slave to the human clock. God is faithful to fulfill His plan according to His promises in His Word. Even when God disciplines us for a season, He has not cast us away or forgotten His promises to us.
It is worth noting with what event the author begins to tell the story of Esther (Esther 1:1-22). He does not begin with the title character, Esther, or even Mordecai. He does not retell the story of the Jews. He begins with the Persian king, who neither knew nor worshiped the God of the Jews. The Persian king had decided to give a banquet, apparently from purely political need to solidify support for his impending military campaign. A completely pagan king decides for purely worldly reasons to give a banquet designed for personal self-aggrandizement. On the last day of the banquet, the king decides to treat the men of his empire to a good look at his beautiful Queen Vashti. This decision is probably not made from the most admirable of motives. With this decision, the king sets in motion a chain of events that takes on a life of its own. In reaction to the king’s request, Queen Vashti, who is not a worshiper of God, decides to refuse the king’s command. She probably does not realize at the moment that her decision will change her life forever and bring another woman to the throne of Persia.
History is now open for a new character … a new queen was to be chosen. The king and his advisers had one thing in mind, but God had another plan. The fate mindset would say, “The Jews go lucky on this one. They are lucky Esther was chosen. That worked out nicely.” Providence says, “Look what God was doing all along.”
There are a few principles of God’s providence that we can glean from Esther 1:9-22. First, God’s providence underscores our dependence on God. Waiting on God means not giving up on His promises or His timing.
Second, God’s providence causes us to be thankful in all circumstances. Our difficult circumstances do not make God less good or less faithful just as our good circumstances do not make God more good or more faithful.
Third, God’s providence compels us to trust in God more and obey Him more fully. God has placed signposts along the highway of history to show that He is in complete control and that no one and nothing will be able to thwart His plan.
Fourth, God’s providence remedies our fears. Because of our confidence in God’s providential care, we need not fear any evil or harm, even if it does come to us – it can only come to us by God’s gracious will.
Who’s in charge? God! As William Cowper wrote, “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”