MDB 20: Esther 6

Mark Johnston Articles

If ever there was a series of extraordinary coincidences in life, then this chapter records it! An event that had been forgotten, a king who couldn't sleep, a record of the forgotten event being read, an official who comes to the palace at that very moment and a misunderstanding that reverses the fortunes of a race condemned to death. The pending disaster that was set in stone by Persian law and to which there was no answer from human wisdom and diplomacy was averted by nothing less than divine, sovereign intervention. What would we give to see the looks on the faces of Mordecai and Esther, as much as on the face of Haman! For the two Jews who knew they could do nothing other than cast themselves on the mercy of God, their faith had been vindicated. For the Agagite with his arrogant self-reliance and utter antipathy towards the Jews and their God, his world and life were unravelling before his very eyes.

There is no mention of God in these verses; but there can be no rational explanation for how and why things turned out the way they did without him. It would take the laws of probability into the realms of fantasy to see this as nothing more than luck. It doesn't take a person to be a Christian to experience situations in life that seem so full of coincidences and have the thought cross their mind, 'Is this the unseen hand of God at work?'

However, it is only as we piece together all the strands of this drama - including the ones that have yet to unfold in the chapters that remain - that we see how it all fits into the infinitely larger drama of redemption. Just as Mordecai and his fellow-Jews faced a dilemma that could only be dealt with by divine sovereign intervention, in an even graver sense, so too does the human race. It's the fact that we are sinful and fallen and stand before the justice of a righteous God. We cannot evade the verdict we deserve. We cannot do anything ourselves to alter it. But God himself has intervened. In an act of sovereign grace he sent his own Son to take the place of sinners to bring about their deliverance. More than that, at the very moment when God appears to be most absent in his earthly life - the moment of dereliction on the cross - he could not have more present and at work, as redemption was secured. The God who has proved his wise and loving providence in those extremes will prove himself true in every circumstance of life - however dark it may appear.