Summary: Years for Mordecai brave act and no medal. No promotion. Not a single word of appreciation. “God, I am depressed. I did such a good thing for the king sake, I’ve risked my career, my life, but no one cares. I quit my job/faith". Know this feeling?
Thomas Watson, the Puritan pastor of the 1600’s wrote this of God’s providence: "There is no such thing as blind fate, but there is a Providence that guides and governs the world. Providence is God’s ordering all issues and events of things, after the counsel of His will, to His own glory. The wheels of the clock seem to move contrary one to the other, but they help forward the hands of the clock".
Little mannerism here – which was “cool” at that time, but the concept is obviously well expressed. In light of what we’re about to read from Esther, I would have to add that the unexpected should be expected when we are investigating God’s business along history, along our lives…
An unexpected invitation to a private dinner and a sleepless night in the King’s palace. The moment of truth has arrived. The ink on the edict to kill all the Jews is barely dry. Esther has called upon her people to fast and pray. The three day fast is now completed. It’s time to act. Let’s go back into this drama and try our best to keep up with some rather breathtaking twists and turns.
The Moment of Truth. Esther 5:1. Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace. When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court she obtained favor in his sight.
Now that was way too easy!... In fact, going back several centuries, Bible scholars have been puzzled by such an immediate favor with a king. There was no way that Ahasuerus would have interrupted the business of his court and violate Persian protocol and say, “C’mon in, Esther . . . so what’s on your mind.” That just couldn’t happen. After you do your best, fast and pray also, trust God. That’s it…
Tilting the scepter toward Esther was court protocol for acceptance before the king. So instead of dying, Esther will be able to keep on living. But instead of being rebuked or even dismissed with irritation, the king gives her his undivided attention and the business of the court screeches to a halt.
ILL. I remember going downtown Hot Springs AR to the courthouse, to assist someone who didn’t know English to dispute a ticket he had gotten when evidently the radar gun of the state trooper wasn’t working properly. Inside there I met a lawyer that I knew very well because I remodeled his lakeside beautiful house. He introduced me to other people dressed like for church and invited me to the courtroom. So after paying for the traffic ticket, I slipped into the back of the courtroom which was in session. Sitting on the front row was a couple of guys in orange jumpsuits, their arms and ankles chained.
Evidently, in this case my acquaintance had something to do with them. The judge left her sit and was busy talking with someone. I was about to slip back out when the lawyer spotted me and motioned for me to come forward. I didn’t want to come forward. I kind of waved and shook my head. He motioned even more. So I ended up walking down the aisle – everybody looking at me – I walked through room, past these 2 guys who just looked at me. What do I say to them? “How are you doing?” In that moment, the judge turned around and she looked at me. Saying nothing, just having that look – and I froze not knowing what she’s going to say… Because I didn’t suppose to be there.
Multiply that feeling by 100 - in this chapter, Esther was not invited to stop by and say hello to her husband in her way to Walmart. Archeologists have confirmed that standing just below the throne of this Persian monarch would have been a man holding an axe in his hand. Listen, apart from the providence of God, Esther will lose her head that afternoon.
But to everyone’s surprise, He says to her in v. 3, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.” That phrase was an expression which meant he was willing to do anything in his power to satisfy her request. He basically says, “I’m in the mood to do whatever I can for you – just name it.”
V. 4 “If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”
In other words, I want you to come to my quarters after work and eat supper with me – I’ve had your favorite meal fixed just like you like it – oh, and bring the Prime Minister with you when you come.