Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Book of Esther is there is no mention of God, but He is everywhere. And, He is in control. Those of you who join me on the “recovering perfectionist” road know how splendid this is in concept, and how difficult at times this is to live out. Thankfully, our struggle to constancy and consistency have nothing to do with this absolute truth (yes, I said it!) that our God is in complete control.
“God even controls a sleepless night” (Booher, p. 140).
King Xerxes submits to a sleepless night, to Mordecai’s benefit. Usually, the emphasis lies with God interrupting the rest of powerful people to remember our faithfulness. I take nothing from that view; I appreciate it. What I turn our view to is God’s overall providence.
King Xerxes is not a minor part of the Esther model, but he is central to it. What we learn about his leadership ability and how easily his counselors influence him hints to us how to structure our appeal. Crown and scepter for Esther only begin the process; reigning well positions her to cash in her favor later.
The sleepless night reminds us of God’s attention to detail, and how He guides details. Xerxes represents the frailty of human authority. God does not send a rival nation’s messenger with news of war. Nor does God release plague or famine. God does not even strike Xerxes with disease. But to work His providence, God simply troubles the king’s sleep.
Two things —
1. Some of us (this writer included!) stress our faith walk because we like to know so we can do. At some point we must decide God is present, actively addressing situations, and for us while He does it. Xerxes’ sleepless night is a small link in the greater chain of events.
2. We need wisdom to pray for the earthly kings to whom we will offer appeal one day. God’s cause trumps the ignorant “Sons of thunder” prayer petitions for God to harm our enemies. Maybe some of us need to ask God to send a sleepless night
Prayerfully, this little point opens our eyes to other little points in our lives where we learned later God used a song, a movie, time at a red light, a conversation, a book or article, a basic household action, a memory, a dream, a vision, a meal, a pet, a hobby to interrupt the decision maker to act in our favor. Mordecai’s reward at Haman’s hand for protecting the king validates him later when it’s time to write a new decree.
My God, hope springs eternal. I needed this. Selah, and love to all.