God Works the Nightshift and He Doesn't Mind Waking People Up
This last week we have been exploring one of my favorite books in the Bible, the book of Esther. Esther is s fascinating book and every year that I read it, I find myself just going into the flow of the narrative and reading the entire book in one sitting. The Jewish feast of Purim and its celebration is from this book.
But did you know, Esther is the only book of the Bible that God is not mentioned?
Oh He is there to be sure, but just like in real life, sometimes you have to search Him out. You see where He has been and can guess where He is going.
There are beautiful lessons for us in Esther and I'd like to mention a few. So get ready for some scripture and a few comments and as always, a few things for fun.
Rewards Don't Always Come When You Want Them but When You Need Them
There is an interesting story that is buried in the midst of the text of a man doing the right thing in a kingdom that he had been exiled into. The man is Mordecai and here is the story buried in the back of chapter two:
Esther 2:21-23 (NKJV) In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name. And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
The very next chapter in the book speaks of the rise of a deadly enemy of the Jews, Haman, whose obsession with Mordecai exercising civil disobedience by not bowing dominates the next few chapters. To the point where Haman is exalted above all, save the queen (Esther) and king of Persia. (Yes, the Persia of 300 fame - different time, same nation.) Not only is Haman exalted, but because of his obsession with the oak-like stance of Mordecai, he gets the king to create a law that all the Jews could be murdered in the streets of every city and town in the realm. Haman then decides that his coup de grace would be to establish a gallows in the courtyard of his home that was about 75 feet high, giving new meaning to the term of overkill.
All of this happened after Mordecai did a good deed, one that saved the very king that had now exalted his enemy and had unleashed the chaos of death through that wicked Haman's hand. Talk about no good deed goes unpunished! Nothing had been done about his good deed and now, confusion had broken out in the city of Susa, the capitol and the Jews began fasting. Mordecai encouraged his adopted daughter, the queen to help in this, saying she too would fall under what would happen, but that God would still deliver them from somewhere else.
Things looked dark indeed. But all God needs is a little sleep deprivation to get His plan a kickstart. Now, I want you to read Esther chapter six very, very carefully, to see where God kickstarts His plan while the enemy seems to be winning in his own.
Esther 6 (NKJV) That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. Then the king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?"
And the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."
So the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
The king's servants said to him, "Haman is there, standing in the court."
And the king said, "Let him come in."
So Haman came in, and the king asked him, "What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?"
Now Haman thought in his heart, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?" And Haman answered the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'"
Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken."
So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"
Afterward Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him."
While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
Do you see it?
Can you see it? The hand of God moving in undisturbed sleep. Moving on the king to both exalt a godly man and humiliate an ungodly leader, God shows that no circumstance is beyond his hand. No situation is too far gone for Him to turn around.
What is it that you think, "I did something good and I haven't been recognized for weeks, months, years, decades?" Could God be putting together something wonderful, patiently weaving a trap for the enemy of our souls to expose and catch him in all that is wrong, while righting the circumstances for His people?
The answer is a resounding "yes!".
Now, a lot was done, including a three day hardcore fast of no water or food, and many, many prayers on behalf of the Jews. But God, the ultimate game changer was on the field of battle, working in the middle of the night, depriving a ruler of sleep and setting up an incredible defeat of an evil person.
My Worries, His Problem
Now, what was it you were worried about again?
Oh, you think it is too far gone?
All God has to do is disturb the sleep of a ruler, and even the My Pillow guy can't get someone to sleep when God has decided it was time to wake up!
Wondering what happened to Mordecai and Esther, Haman and his family? Well, I could tell you, but why not start using the Life Journal with so many in the church? It is easy to get started, in fact, here is a link that I wrote about it with some great videos on how to do it. We have Life Journals available for you to start and then next year you can be reading with all of us about this amazing turn of events by the hand of God. (You could also just go read the book of Esther. It should take about a half hour. Best reading you will do today!)
Remember, don't give up. God works the night shift and He doesn't mind waking a few people up...
And my grandson Moses, likes this one even though there are no super robots....