Invisible God –
The Story of Esther, Queen of Persia
As we can’t see the wind, but realise its presence by the movement it creates, so we see the hand of God at work through the events recorded in the book of Esther. God is not mentioned by name, but is evident throughout as Mordecai and Esther act to carry out God’s will in the salvation of His people from the hatred of His enemies.
How pride puffs up; how anger seeks a way to destroy; how ambition drives the will; how greed corrupts; how envy leads to murder; how laziness results in poverty; how lust corrodes moral fibre: and how self-destroying all these vices are to those who allow them to take hold in their lives.
Such a man was Haman, the enemy of Mordecai and his people, the Jews.
The King’s Man (From the book of Esther)
Haman was second in rank to the King, he was proud and grasping, a greedy thing
who thought alone of his own prestige. To the people’s plight he gave no heed
The King called Haman to him and said: ‘I wish to bring honour upon the head
of a man who’s served me well and true I seek your advice: what should I do?’
I’m second in rank, this must be me
He wants to honour so graciously
I’ll think of a plan that’ll make me shine
With all the glory that’s surely mine!
So this is what old Haman said: ‘Put the king’s own crown upon his head
Seat him upon the king’s own horse to be led throughout the city’s course
Dress him up in the King’s own clothes, command that a man before him goes
to announce for all the crowds to hear: Come bow down low as this man draws near
and honour the man the King commends as the highest of high among his friends’
But every day at the city gate sat a man
who to Haman bowed not, now he had a plan
to bring him down, but he would wait:
He must worship as Haman passed through the gate!
‘With a hate so deep I hate Mordecai but he’ll worship me, or he will die’.
The King agreed to this fine plan and he gave the orders to bring the man
Now Haman had thought: This man is me! I’ve served the King so faithfully!
He danced and pranced so gleefully: Oh, whee, he, he, he, he, he, he!
But it was Mordecai who’d saved the King! ‘Seat him upon my horse and bring
Haman to lead my horse around and let Mordecai with my crown be crowned!’
Hiram then hung his head in shame and never back to the palace came.
On the gallows he’d made for Mordecai, Haman himself was hung so high.
I wrote this poem some time ago but I think it fits here quite nicely. The story of Esther and Mordecai is fascinating, full of danger and intrigue as Haman plots to get rid of Mordecai, not realising that the Queen Esther was Mordecai’s niece, and his adopted daughter. Haman went so far as to build a gallows on which to have Mordecai hung after concocting an elaborate plan to get rid of, not just Mordecai, but all the Jews in the land.
God had his vessel of salvation in place. Queen Esther had won the favour of King Xerxes and he was ready to grant her every wish. Through prayer and fasting, obedience and faith, the victory came to God’s people. The Jews were spared and their enemies delivered into their hands. For the full story read the book of Esther in the Bible.
What a lesson there is in this, several lessons actually. Esther had to learn the lesson of faithful obedience: she was in danger of losing her life for appearing before the King uninvited. He held out the sceptre to her each time she came. She had listened to Mordecai’s instructions and obeyed them fully in spite of the danger. “If I perish, I perish” was her decision.
Haman was eventually hung on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. His evil plans caused his own downfall. Be sure your sins will find you out! I and many others have found this to be true in our personal experiences.
Our lives don’t always follow the lines of what we call ‘poetic justice’. There are those of us who must keep on trusting and believing, praying and acting in faith, obeying and following the right ways, all of our lives. When it comes to justice it rests in the hands of God. I know with all my heart that He will judge rightly, even if we wait until that great day when all will be revealed and dealt with in His perfect justice.
There is another little saying I’ve heard. It concerns a man in the New Testament Church who was ambitious; maybe we’d call him a control freak these days. It goes like this:
“Be not like vain Diotrophes who tried to be the boss, for when we glorify ourselves the Church will suffer loss.” We are here to serve each other, not to exalt ourselves. We are here to grow in love and compassion, in humility, and to become free of self – as God dwells within our lives more fully.
All honour, praise, power and glory belong to God, our Almighty King:
O worship the King all glorious above
O gratefully sing His power and His love
Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days
Pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise
(Johann Michael Haydn 1737-1806)
© Shirley Chalmers 2012