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The Drama of Divine Providence…

In Esther 2, it appears that Queen Esther uses her influence to place Mordecai sitting at the gate, an expression holding a position of authority within the Persian court. Mordecai overhears a plot by the king’s eunuchs, trusted men who have access to the king. Mordecai wisely gives the information to Esther, who relays the details to Ahasuerus.  What you would expect is to see Mordecai promoted, but Haman, the Agatite, is elevated instead.  I imagine Mordecai is thinking, “God, are you watching this?” I see three realities for God’s children who are unsure of God’s presence in the midst of trials.

Do not interpret God’s silence as ignorance or indifference (2:19-3:1)
Beloved, do not consider God to be unaware or uncaring. Your Father is not deaf or blind, detached or disinterested. Later on, the passage explains why God is silent. Drama is introduced into the story by a two-word description of Haman, the Agagite. To be an Agagite is to be an Amalekite. The Amalekites hold the distinction of being the first nation to attack Israel after Egypt. Fast forward to King Saul, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite. In 1 Samual 15, King Saul is told to completely destroy the Amalekites, whose king is named Agag. Haman is an Agagite. In Esther 2:5, we are told that Mordecai too is the son of Kish, a Benjaminite. The author of Esther introduces us to these two mortal enemies personified in Mordecai and Haman, but this time Israel has no king, like Saul, to fight for her. The story of Esther is escalating. Drama and tension increase when we know that God is silent.

Do not forget God’s people are targets for destruction (3:2-11)
Haman begins by casting dice. For a Persian this is not a game of chance, but rather divination, seeking counsel from the gods. Yahweh has the Persian dice fall so as to create a question in His people’s heart. Throughout biblical history, God’s people have been targets for destruction. It was the Serpent’s intent to destroy Adam and Eve’s relationship with God. Trace the bullseye of destruction, spiritually and physically, in the Bible and you will arrive at the disturbing realization that the Devil will do anything to destroy God’s people, to disrupt God’s work, and to dismantle God’s plan.

Do not fear, God’s salvation is timely (3:12-15)
There is a recurring phrase that appears in chapter 3. Did you notice the decree went out on the 13th day of the 1st month? This is the eve of a Jewish holiday. The observance of Passover began on the 14th day. Passover is an annual remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from the iron-fisted rule of Pharaoh. A lamb was shed and it’s blood applied to the door posts of the home. The death angel then passed over each home where the blood was applied. This is a hopeful reminder that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would deliver His people once more.

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