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By Dr. Jaison Jacob, Kerala

Once the disciples asked the Lord Jesus, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38). Christ was sleeping peacefully in the midst of a great windstorm and waves, but the apostles were very much frightened and doubted the Lord’s care for them.

Similarly, Martha too questioned with bitterness and perplexity, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me." (Luke 10: 40).

Both these examples show us that either due to adverse circumstances or even while serving the Lord we may get tired and feel exhausted, sometimes to the point of doubting the Lord.

The scripture reveals that our Lord does care for us and there is no need to doubt or question His thoughts for us (Psa. 40:5). He does everything well for us at the right time. Remember, in the midst of confusion and anxiety, our trust and confidence should be in the providence of God alone. If anything else is the basis of our hope and rest, we become restless in its absence.

The regular study of God’s word enlarges our view of God and His purposes. And such a high view of the Lord and His care helps us to face life’s trials without any frustration and bitterness.

The book of Esther highlights the providence of God and beautifully illustrates how our Lord prepares everything in advance for His people. In Chapter 2, we notice three things in connection with the providence of God.

a.         The providential protection of Esther.
God graciously protected and provided for this captive orphan girl in a foreign land.
b.         The providential promotion of Esther.
God prepared the situation in such a way that Esther found favour and kindness before the king (2:17). This ensured her safety, sustenance, and exaltation.
c.         The providential preparation of Mordecai.
God prepared Mordecai in advance for his unique ministry (2: 21, 22). How wonderfully God made it possible for Mordecai to be in the right place at the right time!
Let’s consider few lessons on divine providence.


1.         Providence of God may permit hardship of every kind in the lives of His people. (Esther 2:7)
God in His reducing providence took away Esther’s parents and even her homeland. God’s compelling providence led her to experience much suffering in her personal life. All these were part of the divine program to protect God’s people in a marvelous manner.

2.         Providence of God may allow our good deeds to be forgotten for a season. (Esther 2: 21 - 23)
Mordecai’s wise and prompt action actually saved the life of the king. However, there was no immediate acknowledgment or reward for his exemplary work, except for recording it in the book of the chronicles. But we know that God had planned to reward Mordecai at the right time.

We don’t need to expect any recognition or appreciation for what we do for the Lord today. Of course, it is true that it’s an encouragement to know how others benefit from our efforts. Nevertheless, we should keep on doing good for all without expecting anything in return (Gal. 6:9, 10).

On a related note, what is the greatest good that we can give to others today? In Mordecai’s case, it was saving the king from death. For us, the greatest good deed is to save perishing souls by presenting the gospel of Christ (John 5:24). Never be discouraged at the poor response to this noble service; at the right time God will reward (Heb. 6:10).

3.         Providence of God may allow a proud person to occupy a position and power. (Esther 3:1)
Naturally, we may hope, in chapter 3 the story would be of how the king honoured Mordecai who saved his life. But on the contrary, we see Haman a proud and haughty man promoted to a high position (cf. 3:5).

4.         Providence of God may record seemingly insignificant gestures. (Esther 3:2)
When others knelt down before Haman, Mordecai refused to do so. This seemingly unimportant action of Mordecai is recorded, which shows we should be careful even in apparently trivial matters (Genesis 18:12).

5.         Providence of God controls even chance events. (Esther 3:7)
When Haman cast lots to choose a suitable date to destroy the entire Jewish community, the lot fell on the 12th month. God wonderfully used that one-year gap to delay the evil design of Haman. (cf. Pro 16).

6.         Providence of God may enhance the power and authority of His enemies for a time. (Esther 3: 8 – 11)
Haman’s words to the king show his satanic attitude. He mixed truth with error to make false allegations against Jews. His false humility further attracted the king, who promptly rewarded him with absolute authority to do whatever he wants.

As it happened, Haman’s exaltation was his execution warrant. Just as God exalted him, God can bring him down, like He did with Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:33). So, there is no need for us to be troubled at the exaltation of anybody in this world.

Solomon’s words are appropriate at this juncture, “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.” (Ecc. 5:8).

7.         Providence of God may allow documents to be written and published against His people. (Esther 3:12 – 14)
Haman made sure that letters were written and sealed with the king's signet ring, reaching every corner of the country. It was the king’s own decree, that on the 13th day of the 12th month everyone should be ready ‘to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews and also to plunder their possessions’.
Naturally, ‘the City of Shushan was perplexed’. (v. 15) Jews and even the locals were confused at this mind-numbing erroneous ruling.

Chapters 4 – 7 describe the response of the Jewish community to this difficult situation. They wept, fasted, and prayed to cast all their cares on the Lord who cared for them. (1Peter 5:7).

8.         Providence of God will reverse any situation for our good. (Esther 8:15)
In our helplessness and pressure, God’s providence becomes more visible. His providence in persecution and pressure works from behind the scene.
God in His providence took away the sleep of the king and caused him to read the book of the chronicles and the rest is history (6:1ff).

When God’s providence was unfolded, confused Shushan began to rejoice (3:15 cf. 8:15). “The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.” (8:16). All because God’s careful eyes were upon them, even though they were in captivity.

In God’s providence, we may see the enemy prosper and our prayers continue to go unanswered. But when we know that our God is sovereign and still on the throne, it comforts and strengthens us. He will give us light peace and honour at the right time (Psa. 16:11; John 12: 26).

Relted topics: BELIEVERS’ SUFFERINGS / Persecution and Christians


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