On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. – Esther 8:1-2 ESV
Over in the book of Deuteronomy, we read the following description of God:
I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! – Deuteronomy 32:3-4 NLT
The truly unique attribute about the story of Esther is that God is nowhere mentioned in the book, but His presence can be seen and felt as the narrative unfolds. He is portrayed as the faithful God who does no wrong. He works invisibly, but invincibly behind the scenes, orchestrating His plan and asserting His will on the lives of men, including those who do not believe He exists. God has been actively involved throughout the story of Esther and Mordecai. He is the one who put Esther on the throne of Persia. He was behind the seeming coincidence that allowed Mordecai to discover the plot against the king. He was the cause behind the king’s insomnia and his request to have the royal record read to him in hope that it might lull him to sleep. God had been witnessing the actions of Haman. He knew his heart and was well aware of his hatred for Mordecai and the people of Israel. While it may have appeared that God was out of sight and out of touch with all the events unfolding in Persia, He was actually in complete control. And He had a plan already in place to deal with not only Haman, but the king’s decree.
Later on in the the same chapter in the book of Deuteronomy, we read:
The Lord says, “Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.” – Deuteronomy 32:34-35 NLT
God is always watching. Like a divine accountant, He is documenting every deposit and withdrawal. He knows the heart of every man. He sees their every action and knows the motivation behind all that they do or don’t do. And while it may appear that God is blind to our predicament and unaware of the injustices being heaped upon us, unlike King Ahasuerus, He is fully cognizant of all that goes on in His kingdom. And God has a just outcome in store for every individual who rises up against His rule or raises a hand against His people.
When we find ourselves going through difficulty, it is sometimes easy to assume that God is not there or that He does not care. We react like the psalmist.
O Lord, the God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth! Arise, O judge of the earth. Give the proud what they deserve. How long, O Lord? How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat? How long will they speak with arrogance? How long will these evil people boast? They crush your people, Lord, hurting those you claim as your own. They kill widows and foreigners and murder orphans. “The Lord isn’t looking,” they say, “and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.” – Psalm 94:1-7 NLT
But our perspective gets skewed. Our circumstances blind us to the ways of God. We get so busy looking at our difficulties, that we lose the ability to see God working in our midst. So the psalmist goes on to remind us of God’s ever-constant presence. And he warns the wicked that God knows all and sees all.
Think again, you fools! When will you finally catch on? Is he deaf—the one who made your ears? Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes? He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you? He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing? The Lord knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless! – Psalm 94:8-11 NLT
It is as if the psalmist knew about Haman long before he was even born.
Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—leaders whose decrees permit injustice? They gang up against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide. God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The Lord our God will destroy them. – Psalm 94:20-23 NLT
And God dealt with Haman, a leader whose decrees permit injustice, by turning his sins back on him. He was destroyed for his sins. And, at the same time, Esther and Mordecai were rewarded. Esther was given the property of Haman. Mordecai was given the king’s signet ring, the symbol of his power and authority, which had previously been given to Haman. And Esther put her uncle, Mordecai, in charge of all the Haman’s vast estate and wealth. The tables had turned. The wicked were defeated. The righteous were blessed.
But while the story of Esther has a happy ending, we must be careful not to assume that every situation and circumstance works out with a perfect fairy tale ending. Stephen, while preaching the gospel, was brutally stoned and murdered by an angry mob. Paul spent much of his adult life in prison as a result of his ministry on behalf of Christ. John was exiled to the island of Patmos by the Roman government because of his persistent preaching of the gospel. We would be wrong to assume that things always turn out right. The Christian faith has always had its martyrs. There are countless believers all across the world who are suffering for their faith at this very moment. Many of them will die as a result of their faith in Christ. But that does not change the fact that God is in control. He knows what He is doing. He has a plan and He will bring it about in His perfect timing and according to His perfect will. We may not understand it or even like it, but we can trust that whatever happens is within the just and righteous providence of God. For Esther and Mordecai, the story has a happy ending. But while some may experience pain, suffering, lose and even death, it does not mean that God is not working.
The Lord will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession. Judgment will again be founded on justice, and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it. – Psalm 94:14-15 NLT