Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 8 - December 2005 / January 2006 > Finding


by Stephen Petrie

Title               Finding "God" in the book of Esther
Theme           God's co-incidences


Two of my favorite stories growing up were Daniel and Esther.  In reality they both lived within about 60 years of each other, and only about 400 miles apart.

We all know the stories of Daniel as a young man: His not wanting to eat the King's food, the interpreting of the King's dream, the incident with the fiery furnace and of course, every child's favorite, the story of the lions den.  All these stories very graphically show how God can work wondrous things through people that publicly serve Him. 

From these stories we know that Daniel and his friends were promoted above all those who did eat the King's food.  God used the situation of Daniel's friends on the plains of Dura to be one of the biggest public displays of God's might over man we have ever seen.  We also know that by Daniel not giving up his public worship of his God just because the threat of death hung over him, the name of God was exalted and God's people were greatly blessed.

While set just after Daniel, the story of Esther is somewhat different in many respects.  Unlike the book of Daniel, nowhere in the book of Esther is the name of God mentioned.  There is no mention of religion, no mention of heroics to glorify God, just a plain storyline.

If you look at the storyline though, you will see that throughout the book of Esther, there is an amazing set of coincidences that allowed Esther and Mordecai to be God's vessels, and to thwart Satan's plan:


The first coincidence is that Vashti was removed as queen. (Esther 1:19)

"If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she."

God used the deposing of Queen Vashti to place Esther in a position that we will see could later be used to save his people from impending destruction.


The next coincidence is that Esther just happened to be the young woman among hundreds to find favor with the king to become the queen of Persia. (Esther 2:15,16)

"Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.  So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which [is] the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign."


Next coincidence is that Mordecai "just happened" to overhear the plot against the king's life. (Esther 2:12-23)

"In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.  And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told [it] unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king [thereof] in Mordecai's name.  And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king."


Another coincidence was that the king was lazy about rewarding Mordecai.  He did nothing about rewarding Mordecai till later in the story, which turned out to be providential.


Next, there was ample time granted in the decree - nearly a year between the writing of the decree and the date of its execution - to allow for God to use Esther and Mordecai to thwart Haman's plan and then for the Jews to prepare for their defense. (Esther 3:12,13)

"Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that [were] over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and [to] every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring. And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, [even] upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey."


Yet another coincidence is that Esther was twice extended the golden scepter that spared her life. (Esther 4:14-16 & Esther 5:1,2)

"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?  Then Esther bade [them] return Mordecai [this answer], go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish."

"Now it came to pass on the third day that Esther put on [her] royal [apparel], and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.  And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, [that] she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that [was] in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre."


The next coincidence is that King Ahasuerus "just happened" to read about Mordecai's service between the two banquets that Esther had prepared. (Esther 6:1-3)

"On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of 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 chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.  And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him." 

What are the chances that the King could not sleep, and that he asked to be read from the records, and that he was read to about what Mordecai had done for him?


Next, there just happened to have been a gallows, built by Haman, on which to hang him. It is quite possible that once the king's anger subsided, he may have had second thoughts about Haman's sentence.


Lastly, is it a coincidence that God's people prevailed over their enemies?  I think not!


While never expressly stated, it is not too big a jump to make, to suggest that God's hand can be clearly seen throughout the story of Esther.  I think it is too much of a coincidence that there are so many coincidences.

Mordecai was clearly a man of God in that he would not bow to Haman.  Haman on the other hand, was filled with hate for Mordecai and became a tool of the devil.  Mrs. E G White says In the book "Prophets and Kings" on page 601, "Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was trying to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God."

Esther too showed great faith in not only her decision to go to the King, but before she did this it is implied that there was much prayerful supplication before she ventured into the King's throne room.  Esther 4:16 states: "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise".

I believe the story of Esther not only shows how God can use faithful people, it also is a pointer for the end of time.  We read in the book "Testimonies  Vol. 5", also by E G White:

"The decree which is to go forth against the people of God [at the end of time] will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman toward Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done him harm, but he had refused to show him reverence which belongs only to God. The king's decision against the Jews was secured under false pretences through misrepresentation of that peculiar people. Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counter power that reigns among the children of men. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to protect the people of God, and the plots of their adversaries returned upon their own heads. The Protestant world today sees in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way. {page 450}"

My question in finishing is: Do we have the same faith that Esther & Mordecai had, to not only face the trials of everyday life, but to face the last day events? 

Remember Esther's words: "I will go in unto the king…and if I perish, I perish", what faith is that?!

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