There are so many biblical stories in which I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. One that ranks near the top of my list is the scene in the book of Esther when King Ahasuerus was having trouble falling asleep one night (you can read about it in Esther 6). Hoping to induce drowsiness, the king called for the local history book to be brought and read to him. As he begins to settle into his bedtime stories, one in particular stands out to him. It's about a man named Mordecai who thwarted an assassination attempt on the king's life. As the king rehearses the story in his mind, he realizes he never did anything to thank Mordecai, nothing at all to honor him for his act of bravery and service to the crown.
Now the king's right hand man, Haman, was a brutal man who loved himself a great deal. Haman was wickedly scheming to wipe out the Jewish people, largely because one of them, a man named Mordecai, refused to bow as Haman passed him in the street.
As King Ahasuerus lay in his bed that night, trying to figure out how he might thank Mordecai, in walked Haman. Before Haman could speak, the king asked his opinion on the matter: "What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" (v. 6). Thinking himself the only one around worth honoring, Haman proceeded to lay out his plan, complete with royal robes, the king's horse and a magnificent procession through the city square. It was to be quite the gala.
Then the bombshell.
" All right. Fantastic idea. Go ahead and set Mordecai up with all that."
Oh! The look on his face would have been priceless! Verse 4 tells us the reason Haman had showed up in the king's bedroom that night was to ask about hanging Mordecai! Now Haman must lead the procession that honors and celebrates the same man!
Of course, you know the rest of the story. Through Esther's bravery, Haman's wicked plot is thwarted and the gallows he built for the Jews were tested out on he and his sons.
Much ado has been made over the fact that God's name is never mentioned in the book of Esther. However it is impossible to miss his sovereign, all-powerful intervention though out these ten chapters. Was it a coincidence that Esther, a Jew unbeknownst to the king, was made queen? Was it a coincidence that the very night Haman was to launch a war on the Jews, the king commanded him to launch for one of them a parade instead? Was it a coincidence that the king granted Esther all that she asked, thereby ensuring the preservation of God's people?
It's not coincidence, it's sovereignty.
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. (Psalm 135:6, ESV)
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35, ESV)
We must never forget that God is in control.