God is apparently absent in the Book of Esther. However, as we will see the hidden hand of divine providence is woven through the events of this extraordinary story. Esther reveals God’s sovereignty and can help us grow in our faith and walk with Him through difficult times.

I. The Illusion of Chance (Esther 1-2)

  1. We witness the grandeur of King Ahasuerus’ court, governed by the whims of the king moved by much alcohol and festivity decisions. Yet, beneath the surface, God’s sovereignty is at work.

What was the purpose behind the banquet for the nobles and officials of the empire? Scripture doesn’t tell us, but secular history does. The Greek historian Herodotus states that Ahasuerus was planning on attacking Greece. Ahasuerus’ father, Darius I had been defeated at Marathon in 490. 

  • Esther’s rise from orphan to royalty displays the unexpected nature of God’s unseen hand in our lives. Esther teaches us that what may seem like chance or coincidence is, in fact, under the careful orchestration of a sovereign God.

II. Intercession and Sacrificial Love (Esther 3-5)

  1. Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jewish people unfolds, creates a crisis that calls for intercession. Mordecai challenges Esther to risk her life by approaching the king uninvited. The date of the lots chosen calculated by historians was April 7, 474 B.C. The date it chosen for the Jews annihilation was March 7, 473 B.C.
  • A sub plot of these events is that Haman was a descendant of King Agag who ruled the Amalekites.  Mordecai was the descendent of King Saul who was Israel’s first kings.  Saul was told by God to eliminate the Amalekites for their idolatry and for their enmity to both God and Israel.  Saul failed to do so and years later this failure almost causes Agag’s descendent to wipe out Israel.
  • Esther’s response demonstrates a sacrificial love and intercession in chapter 4. Her willingness to lay down her life for her people foreshadows God’s love in His promised Messiah’s sacrifice for not just the Jewish people but all mankind 4:13-14. She is a model for all of God’s people.  Her prayers offered in faith and selflessness, is used to bring God’s intervention and deliverance. 
  • Mordecai’s faith and spiritual maturity is seen in 5:9. Having made his appeal to God and no longer in fasting and sackcloth he left the matter in His hands and moved on, confidently trusting in God’s sovereignty and covenant faithfulness.

III.  Divine Reversals and Celebration (Esther 6-10)

  1. That night, the king cannot sleep and orders the court records to be read to him. He learns that Mordecai had uncovered a plot against him and decides to honor Mordecai (Est. 6:13).
  • Esther exposes Haman’s plot to the king. The king orders Haman to be hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai (Est 7).
  • Mordecai is promoted to Haman’s position. Esther intercedes with the king, and he issues a new decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies (Esth 8).
  • The Jews successfully defend themselves against those who seek to harm them. Mordecai establishes the festival of Purim to commemorate their deliverance (Est. 9)
  • The book concludes by highlighting Mordecai’s rise to power and his influence in the kingdom. The Book of Esther is a unique narrative in the Bible, as it doesn’t explicitly mention God, yet it illustrates God’s providence and the preservation of the Jewish people. The celebration of Purim, instituted in this book, is a joyful commemoration of the events described in Esther.
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