August 27th, 2014 | By admin
by Paul Holland
How do you live upright in an upside down world? You trust in the providence of God. I want you to have an unshakeable conviction in the God of heaven that He will, lovingly, always do the right thing by you if you are one of His children.
As you move through the text of Esther, keep this thought in the back of your mind – Mordecai is going to refuse to bow down to Haman, staying truthful to God’s word. Haman, motivated out of anti-semitic racism, is going to influence King Ahasuerus to kill Mordecai and all his people – the Jews. The question is: How is God going to work behind the scenes, without violating man’s free will, to not only save His people, the Jews, but also to influence Persians to accept the Jews’ God as the one true God, even becoming Jews themselves? That’s the story of Esther. That’s God’s silent sovereignty at work, to use brother Cecil May’s subtitle to his book,Providence.
Chapter 2:21-23 are important to the overall context of the book as it explains to us how King Ahasuerus is saved by Mordecai which leads to the king wanting to honor Mordecai. Why was Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate that day? How did the plot become known to Mordecai? These are questions – even as we have questions in our own lives about how God works – that we cannot answer, except to say it is the “silent sovereignty of God.”
Esther was the only person who could save the Jewish people. She had to do something! Look at 4:13-14 and see an expression of Mordecai’s faith in the silent sovereignty of God. We also see Esther’s conviction expressed in verses 15-17.
The first sentence in chapter 6 saves the life of the Jews. The king could not sleep. Why could King Ahasuerus not sleep? Only God knows but He is working behind the scenes. That insomnia led King Ahasuerus to call for the history books to be read to him and then, he learned that Mordecai saved his life but had never been honored for that act of loyalty.
Isn’t it ironic that in the middle of this government-sponsored pogrom against God’s people, that Persiansactually want to be members of this minority religious sect (8:17)? These Persians had been inspired and encouraged by the religious and spiritual lives of the Jews. It is always true that if/when Christians act like Christians, that is, when they serve Christ and follow His word, non-Christians will be inspired to become Christians (cf. Acts 5:11, 14). When you do things God’s way, God will bless you for it.
At the end of his discussion of Esther in his book on providence, brother May comments: “God is still keeping watch above His own. Any one of us at any time could be in a situation that would call for faithful, effective action on our parts to bring about God’s will for His church. Who knows whether we may have come to the kingdom for just such a time as that? Let us be perceptive and ready” (pg. 87).
How do you live upright in an upside down world? You trust the “silent sovereignty of God.”