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The Ordinary Planned by the Extraordinary (Esther 6)



Esther 6 begins with King Xerxes having a restless night. Because the king could not sleep, he had one of his attendants read the book of chronicles to him. As the book was read, the king learned that Mordecai had saved his life.


In Esther 2, Mordecai discovered that Bigthana and Teresh had conspired to kill the king. Mordecai reported this to Queen Esther who then reported it to King Xerxes. The allegations were investigated and discovered to be true. Therefore, Bigthana and Teresh were sentenced to death.


After the attendant read of what Mordecai had done, King Xerxes asked, “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” To which the attendants replied, “Nothing has been done for him.”


At this very moment, it is written that Haman was in the king’s court. The beginning of this chapter indicates that it was nighttime. So, the fact that Haman appeared in the king’s court at night shows just how adamant he was about Mordecai’s demise. To Haman, it was urgent that the king was immediately notified of Mordecai’s dishonorable actions that were, in his opinion, worthy of death.


So, before King Xerxes could continue questioning his attendants about Mordecai, he was notified that Haman was in the king’s court. He permitted Haman to enter, but before Haman could state his reason for coming, the king asked him a question. He asked Haman what should be done for someone the king wants to honor.


Because Haman was arrogantly prideful, verse 6 states Haman said to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” So, because Haman thought the king wanted to honor him, he recommended top-notch honors for the man that the king wanted to honor.


Haman suggested that this honorable man receive royal robes that the king himself had worn, a horse that was ridden by the king, as well as a royal crown. Haman also stated that this man should be ridden throughout the city, and it should be proclaimed to the public, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’


King Xerxes was pleased with Haman’s recommendations and asked him to get the robe and horse and to do everything that he had suggested for Mordecai. I can only imagine the look on Haman’s face in that moment. I wonder just how far his heart and pride plummeted to the floor when he realized that the honor he suggested was not for him, but for Mordecai.


It is written that Haman did exactly as he suggested. He placed a robe on Mordecai and led him on horseback throughout the city and proclaimed to everyone, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’ Isn’t it funny how God turned the tables? God literally made someone’s enemy publicly praise them. Indeed, no one can avenge us quite like God can.


The chapter concludes with Haman rushing home to his wife and friends in anguish. He told them everything that happened. Their advice to Haman was as follows: “Since Mordecai is of Jewish descent, you cannot stand against him. You will surely come to ruin!”


The hand of God in this story is a reminder of how he works extraordinary things in the seemingly ordinary moments of our lives. The chapter begins with King Xerxes being unable to sleep—which is a normal thing. But because of the king’s restlessness, he was led to discover how Mordecai rescued him.


This just so happens to have occurred right before Haman entered the king’s court to request Mordecai’s execution. Imagine if the king was able to sleep that night. If he were able to sleep, then he wouldn’t have discovered Mordecai’s deeds. If the king wouldn’t have discovered Mordecai’s deeds before Haman’s entrance, it is very likely that Haman’s request to impale Mordecai would have been accepted considering how unconcerned the king was with human life throughout the previous chapters.


But it is also funny how Mordecai just so happened to have been at the right place and at the right time to discover Bigthana’s and Teresh’s plan to kill King Xerxes. What are the odds? If someone is plotting murder—especially the murder of the king—I assume they would do their best to keep their plan a secret. But somehow Mordecai found out about their devious plan.


If Mordecai had never found out about their plan, he would have never been in the book of chronicles. And without him being in the book of chronicles, the king would have found no reason to honor him. And if Mordecai had no honor from the king, Haman’s plan to execute him would have surely succeeded.


On the surface, these series of events do not necessarily appear divine. These moments occurred during an ordinary day just like any other ordinary day. Yet, God was working behind the scenes the entire time. From Vashti being dethroned, from Esther becoming queen, to Mordecai refusing to bow to Haman and his discovery of the plot to kill the king, to Haman plotting revenge, to the setting up of the 75-foot-pole, to King Xerxes restless night and him learning about Mordecai’s deeds right before Haman’s entrance… every little detail was a part of God’s divine plan.


God set up Mordecai to discover Bigthana and Teresh’s plan even before Haman set up that pole, which means God had a plan to rescue Mordecai before Haman ever had a plan to destroy him. And isn’t that what God has done for us all? Before the serpent planned to deceive mankind in the Garden of Eden, God planned to send his Son, Jesus, into the world so that we may be saved (1 Peter 1:20).


Not only did God choose Christ before the foundations of the world, but he also chose us. Ephesians 1:11 states, “in him we were chosen having been predestined according to the plan of him who works everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”. God had a plan for us before we or even our enemy had a plan for us. And if that isn’t enough, God took it upon himself to order what we might consider our ordinary days.


Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:16 NIV


The revealing of God’s plan in the Book of Esther is what makes the story fascinating. We see just how strategic and intentional God’s plan was throughout the whole ordeal. But what’s even more remarkable is how no one was aware of God’s plan.


Mordecai didn’t know that God was orchestrating a beautiful plan for him and his people when he allowed him to discover Bigthana and Teresh’s plan. Mordecai didn’t know that God was making a king restless on his behalf. He also didn’t know that Haman had set up a pole to impale him or that he was in the king’s court attempting to solidify his death.


Likewise, we do not know what evil plan the enemy has devised. And we also do not know the exact steps of God’s plan. But if God’s plan was unraveling in something as ordinary as a king being unable to sleep, then we know that God’s plan for us is also unraveling in our ordinary days. And we know that those plans are good, that they will prosper us, and give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).


Find joy in reading this account because even when we do not know what the future holds, God does, and he has a plan for it. Take heart in knowing that while you are trying to figure out a plan, a greater plan was established for you before you even existed. I praise God that our ordinary days are planned by an extraordinary God. And I pray that after your reading of Esther 6, you will too.


 

Quin Arrington is a Christian wife, mother, and author with books available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington




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