podcast

#699 – The Sovereign Hand of God (Esther 2:17)

Pray The Word
Esther
2
17
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“The king loved Esther more than all the women and she won grace and favor in his sight, more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her Queen instead of Vashti.”
(Esther 2:17)

This is the beginning of the story of Esther. Specifically this is the verse where she becomes the Queen. And it is one of a number of different circumstances in this book that you see the sovereign hand of God working in and through. It’s interesting, you read the book of Esther, you actually don’t see the name of God ever mentioned. Some people have practically criticized this book as a result, but though you may not see the name of God, the fingerprints of God are all over this book. That Queen Vashti just so happened to be removed as queen, and Queen Esther, a Jewish woman, just so happened among all the other women to become the queen. And Esther just so happened to be related to Mordecai who discovers a plot in the second half of this chapter, to kill the king, that helps through Mordecai’s relationship with Esther, bring about saving the king’s life.

Are we willing to lay down our lives that others may know Christ? Father, help us to fast and pray with the heart of Esther.

All this ultimately… I don’t want to ruin the book as you read through it… but ultimately leads to not just saving the king’s life, this leads to saving the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of this king. It’s an amazing story, and at every turn you see the sovereign hand of God putting people in certain places, at certain times, for the accomplishment of his purpose. I point all that out, read this verse, just to remind you today that God is sovereign over the details of our lives. And just bring this down in your life, God, that means God has put you where you are right now for a reason.

You are in that office. You are in that neighborhood. You are in that apartment complex. You are in that place for a purpose. God has purposes that he is accomplishing through your life, and he has sovereignly put you, and will sovereignly put you, in places for the spread of his glory. I think about just this last week I was in the process of buying a car, and that is not an enjoyable process in my mind, no offense to car dealers who might be listening to this, but just the process of trying to negotiate price and this or that. And I was going back and forth between a couple of dealers, and the way it all worked out I ended up talking to this one group and then ended up talking to another person, and it just so happened this person was wondering that week about some questions that pertain to the Gospel.

I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with him, and I’m sitting there and I looked at him and said, “This is no accident. I hadn’t planned on talking to you about this car purchase. I was trying to go in this other direction, but now I ended up, I’m sitting here and talking with you, and you’ve been having this conversation. Meanwhile, I’m just meeting you but I didn’t know you were having a conversation that lead to asking questions about who God is and eternal life, and now I’m sharing the Gospel with you. Like this is no coincidence.” And it’s true. It’s true. Like, we are not products of chance or fate. There is a sovereign God who rules over the world. See your life in the context of that reality, and live with confidence as a result, that as you interact with people, God has you with those people for a purpose, and that purpose is the spread of his love and his grace and his mercy, through your life.

So we pray, Oh God, help us today to see and trust your sovereign hand at work, even when we find ourselves in situations we don’t want to be in. Help us to look for what you are doing there, and help us, use us as instruments in your hand for the accomplishment of your purposes. God, we pray that in every place we find ourselves today, in every conversation we just so happen to be in, every person we just so happen to encounter, God, we pray that you would use us for the accomplishment of your purposes, for the spread of your grace, your love, your mercy, your Gospel, today. God, we pray with joy, with confidence, with a sense of exhilaration that our lives are in your hands for the accomplishment of your purposes. So work in all the details of our lives, we pray, for the spread of your grace, for the spread of your glory. And in the process we trust, work in all the details of our lives for our good, just like you promise in Romans 8:28. We praise you for your sovereignty over all things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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