God’s Silent Sovereign Hand
Day: 15 | Plan: Covenant
Today’s Reading: Esther 9:1-19
Esther 9:2 (NIV) “The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them.”
The dreaded day had arrived. The day Haman’s evil edict commanding the destruction of the Jews came into effect. But, by God’s sovereign hand, the day once appointed for their death and destruction became their day of victory and celebration.
Although the king could not change Haman’s edict, at the request of Esther and Mordecai, he issued a new one. It neutralized the effect of the original edict by giving the Jews the right to assemble and defend themselves, their families and their property.
It wasn’t by strength in numbers or more sophisticated weaponry that the Jews prevailed. Scripture tells us, “No one could stand against them [the Jews], because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them” (Esther 9:2b). The next verse goes on to say that even the government officials helped the Jews because “fear of Mordecai had seized them” (Esther 9:3).
In this context, “fear” is from the Hebrew word pachad and means “dread.” God struck fear in the hearts of the Jews’ enemies, stripping them of any courage they had to fight the Jews. Their enemies witnessed how Mordecai’s edict, written on King Xerxes’ behalf, united and emboldened the Jews to stand together. So much so, that many of those enemies switched sides and joined with Mordecai. They saw evidence of God’s favor upon him, even if they couldn’t define it as such. Mordecai now held a position of considerable authority in the kingdom. He spoke with great wisdom. Moral excellence governed every area of his life. They knew in their hearts that they could not prevail against such a man.
At the end of two days, the Jews claimed full and total victory and they established a new holiday to remember their victory. They turned the very day they should have been annihilated from a day of sadness and mourning into days of rejoicing and celebration.
I don’t want us to miss how the Jews got here. Though His name is not mentioned, God orchestrated each and every scene in this story. His silent sovereign hand was always in control, weaving and working His purposes.
Through those dark days, God was working every circumstance for their good and His glory. In the midst of it, His people could see only the hard stuff. But God knew the ending. And it was good.
It is no different for us, my friend. God is our deliverer. (Psalm 144:2; Psalm 18:2) When I walk through difficult times, I sometimes find myself drowning in what ifs, wondering if God is even there. I love the book of Esther because it reminds me when I can’t see past the darkness, I can trust God. Our Deliverer is working and weaving together every tear, every doubt, every ache and every pain for His greater story. We too, like the Jews, are victors and overcomers! (Deuteronomy 20:4; Ephesians 6:13; 1 John 5:4)
Prayer: Father, sometimes it’s easy to forget You are in control. When I feel out of control, the last thing I want to do is surrender. I want to fix it. I want everything to be better and back to normal. Help me to surrender my doubts, questions and what ifs to You. Help me trust that You are sovereign and in control. To believe with all my heart that You alone are my deliverer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The edict Mordecai wrote on behalf of King Xerxes “granted the Jews in every city the right... Read More
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