Sermon – February 28, 2021

Esther by Jean-François Portaels, ~1869

Esther 6:1-14 – God’s Beautiful Justice (mp3)

Jesus, in speaking with Nicodemus in John 3, reminds Nicodemus that we do not know where the wind has come from or where it is going – but we can see its effects all around us. We know that the wind is there, for we see the results of its presence. Today, while we don’t see God, we see the effects of his presence all over Esther 6, especially in the working out of his justice. How do we know that God is truly there, even when we can’t see him? What does such presence tell us about the God that we serve? Let us press into these questions today, as we consider God’s beautiful and just work in Esther 6.

1. God leaves clear clues
Esther 6 is filled with coincidences, or so it seems. Mordecai was overlooked for honor, the King had a bad night sleep, the records were read, Mordecai’s act was revealed, Haman showed up, etc. But all of these things point not at coincidence, but rather point directly at God’s involvement in the world. We are right to see such things as the beautiful fingerprints of God in normal “coincidences” of the world.

2. God uses typical tactics
Also, notice that these things are not what we typically look for when we decide that we want to see the work of God. Like Elijah, we want fire from the sky; a voice that roars in the wind, earthquake, and the fire. But what we normally get is a small voice. This is the typical tactic of God. His marvelous grace and unfathomable power is often seen through very ordinary means: the preaching of the gospel, the prayers of the saints, the practice of the Lord’s Supper. Don’t overlook these ordinary ways in which God typically works – for in doing so, you will miss the profound and supernatural presence of God.

3. God gives right recompense
God always pays back to all people what they deserve. Mordecai’s honor for stopping the assassination plot was overlooked, but God would not overlook it forever. Haman has much fall back on him in this chapter, in one of the great chapters of irony in the Bible. Haman’s own omission of the fact that he was gunning for the Jews is returned to him; his pride turns to his humiliation; his own place, honor, and mourning shows that he has changed places with Mordecai; and even the ironic way in which he is, in a sense, given precisely what he wanted shows God’s great humor and recompense. Let us live in this light – knowing that our good works will indeed be seen and rewarded; and conversely, that our evil deeds will be found out. Therefore, respond in faith! Trust that God will repay your good and wait for his generosity. Conversely, repent of the evil you find in yourself, and trust that Jesus is enough to forgive you!