The Invisible Hand of Providence
One of the lesser known Jewish holidays reminds us of the big picture of God’s redemption plan. It’s called the Feast of Purim, and is inaugurated at the end of the book of Esther. Purim literally means “lots” and gets its name from the way the wicked Haman cast lots to determine the date he would carry out his plan to annihilate the Jews. The Feast of Purim commemorates the saving of the Jewish people, once again, from Satan who is known as the Destroyer.
That’s really what’s behind the book of Esther. There’s a war going on between Satan and God.
When God cursed the serpent in the garden, He promised that the seed of the woman would one day come to crush the serpent’s head. And so, since then, Satan’s been trying to sever the human line that would fulfill the promise. Through murder, through rebellion, through famine and slavery. Through dividing the kingdom. Through Saul’s attempts to murder David. Through Joseph’s brothers’ hatred. And on and on it goes.
The redemption story in Esther is similar to the true story of God saving His chosen people through the suffering and elevation of Joseph. But it is different in that God’s involvement is kept hidden in the background. The Book of Esther is unique in that way: It is the only book of the Bible that does not mention God by name. Yet His invisible hand is seen on every page. Even a casual reading of it reveals there is no such thing as a coincidence, or chance.
The book’s events silently support the claims of other Scripture; that is, that God is sovereign. As the sovereign one, He is directing all things toward the fulfillment of His master plan. The events of the book of Esther take place at the same time as the Jewish exile, but in the kingdom of Persia.
The Book of Esther reveals how God’s hand of providence governs 4 areas of our lives…
- The demotion and elevation of political leaders.
- The timing of seemingly insignificant events.
- The reward of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked.
- The reversal of Satan’s evil plans against God’s people.
The Book of Esther is not only historical. It’s also a prelude to the victorious work of Jesus Christ. It’s a precursor to the ultimate reversal of Satan’s evil plans. What Satan means to destroy, God means to redeem and restore. What man means for evil, God means for good and His glory. This is the triumph of God’s sovereignty which the apostle Peter speaks of in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:22-24).
The triumph in the book of Esther points us to the triumph of Jesus over sin and death.
- So, when you are confused or discouraged….
- When you fear the outcome of wicked politicians…
- When you doubt God’s timing…
- When you struggle with seeing unbelievers prosper more than you…
- When Satan appears to be winning the war…
Remember the invisible hand of God is at work—behind the scenes—but He will make His presence known. He will come out from behind the curtain at just the right time. Trust Him.
You can watch or listen to the sermon here.