I first read Esther 3 a week or so ago. While I understood the story, I failed to see the importance of what is taking place in the chapter.
In that first reading, I appreciated Mordecai’s faithfulness to his faith. He was being commanded to bow to Haman, and as a Jew, Mordecai was having no parts of it. Unfortunately for Mordecai and the Jews within Xerxes’ reign, Haman was given the authority to use the Xerxes’ signet to declare that all of the Jews should be killed. He even had a date planned. As providence would have it, though, that date was a ways off and there would be time to twist Haman, and his plan, into a very secure knot.
According to McGee and my handy study Bible, Haman was a descendent of the Amalekites. The Amalekites are the people that Saul was commanded, by God, to wash off the face of the Earth. Well, Saul disobeyed, and that ended up being a very bad thing down the road…just look at what Mordecai is facing. Need I say more? Well, there is one other thing. The Jews within Xerxes’ influence aren’t just a scant few, located in an area the size of Iran. The kingdom of Xerxes spanned parts of present-day Asia, Europe, and Africa. As McGee stated, the Jews would have been completely annihilated.
So, if you know the Bible, you know where I am headed: Two of the promises that come to mind, as stated by McGee, are the promises that God will always take care of His people, and that God would curse those that cursed the Jews and bless those who blessed them. (Take note politicians!)
Through God’s providence, He kept His promises to his people. He knew from the time Saul disobeyed Him that He would have to make a way for His people.
How awesome is this message?
Just think: So often we find ourselves in unpleasant circumstances, or we find ourselves in a steady holding pattern of “wait”. In both instances it is common to wonder where God is. We get caught up in what we see as immediacy and the drama. God, all along, has planned our route, how He will bless us, and has lovingly plotted out our steps, so that eventually, we will be blessed by Him and experience what he had planned for us all along (and you know we all fret during that period).
This is why it is so important to give God His proper honor. I know I am so weak in that area at times. I get frustrated with waiting, and I feel like God is just watching me. He is, however, at work all along, guiding us and providing His providence to keep us on His map.
You know what else happens when we get consumed with negativity and angst? We begin to make those things we are trusting God for a god in themselves. God is bigger than all of it.
McGee stated it best: “God moves in the affairs of men by His providence.”
The past year, I have been working on not allowing the desires of my heart and the things around me to be bigger than God and His will. It isn’t easy, even when I know full well how powerful God is. However, I find myself giving things to God more and more, with more acknowledgement of just how in control of things He is.
Sadly, it has taken me 41 years to understand that nugget.