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June 1 Today’s Reading: Esther 2-4
“Esther was brought also unto the king’s house.”
We must never overlook the goodness, wisdom, and minute detail of God’s providence. It is magnificently displayed in the way the Lord God arranged for Esther to be made Queen of Persia at precisely the time she was needed, and in the way King Ahasuerus was inclined to grant her her desire for the deliverance of Israel, and the destruction of those who sought to destroy them.
Corruption and Grace
The vile things that transpired during and as the result of the feast Ahasuerus held for his reveling friends are but a small display of the depravity of our fallen race, and the vile corruptions of our hearts by nature. Let us, by every remembrance of sin, be inspired to give thanks to our God for the pure gospel of his free grace in Christ. The angels call it “glad tidings of great joy”. Truly it is that! The gospel of Christ is good news to poor sinners, who feel a body of sin and death, uncleanness, inordinate affections, and obscene lusts within. It tells poor, needy, dirty sinners that there is a fountain open for sin and uncleanness, grace for the guilty, and mercy for the most vile in Christ Jesus! It is the proclamation of liberty to poor captives. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, proclaims deliverance in the gospel by his great salvation. — Deliverance from sin! — Deliverance from death! — Deliverance from the law! — Deliverance from the wrath to come! — Deliverance by his blood, his grace, and his power!
How sweet, comforting, and joyful it is to see God’s overruling providence in the book of Esther! We see here how he makes even the corrupt passions and deeds of wicked men serve his purpose, the good of his people, and his everlasting praise. Never does the Lord God more strikingly display his sovereignty and grace than when he compels the wicked to promote the purposes of his sovereign will. God’s people were about to be brought into great danger. How shall the Lord deliver them? Wicked King Ahasuerus divorces his Queen Vashti to gratify his anger, marries Esther and makes her, a Jewess, Queen of Persia! This young Queen Esther shall be the Lord’s instrument by which he shall preserve his people in captivity.
There is more to the story. Mordecai is made aware of a plot against the king’s life. A record is made of his loyalty in the chronicles of the kingdom. Mordecai is forgotten about, until one night when Ahasuerus could not sleep. A servant reads to the king from the chronicles; and Mordecai is brought forward to be rewarded. The man Haman hated and planned to hang is exalted to Haman’s place; and Haman, the Jews’ great enemy, is hanged on the gallows he built for the hanging of Mordecai. Sweet it is to my soul to watch the ways and works of our wonder-working God! — “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known!” — “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf” of his elect!
No Harm, Only Good
Never was there a more deadly plot devised by any wretch than that which Haman devised against the Jews. But all his devices fell upon his own head. So shall it be with all the devices of the devil. Satan’s schemes and assaults upon our God and his Christ and his church shall fall upon his own head (Romans 16:20).
It is not enough merely to say that Satan and his devices shall do no harm. The Book of God reveals much more than that. The Word of God tells us plainly, and we should be confident that they shall all do good. — “For all things work together for good to them that love God!” Does Satan plan my soul’s destruction? Does he want to get me in his snare? Does he desire to have me, that he may sift me as wheat? Without question, all these things are so.
At times, I feel his power utterly overwhelming! He joins with my corruptions to cast me down. He raises Moses up to accuse and condemn me. But when he does, I am then forced to cry to the Lord for help. I am compelled to fly out of myself and take refuge in my High Tower, Christ Jesus!
How sweetly, how graciously the Lord our God overrules even the devices of the devil for our souls’ welfare. Therefore God the Holy Ghost, by his servant James, teaches us to rejoice when we fall into divers temptations. Blessed Lord Jesus, let me rest my soul always on you, on your finished work of salvation, and on your everlasting purpose of grace, worked out every day, every hour, in all the minute details of your sovereign, universal providence for my good!