Did you know there is a book in the Bible that does not mention the Lord’s name even once? Although God is never referred to in the book of Esther, it is a story that has God’s divine handprints all through it.
The story of Esther is a common story with a surprise ending. I heard her story numerous times in Sunday school growing up. I love the story and the deep truth that her entire purpose was “for such a time as this.” I have always been challenged by the fact that if she didn’t live out God’s plan, another would rise to the task. When Esther was informed that her entire race was about to be destroyed, she prayed and fasted and boldly went before the king. It was a great risk to appear before the ruler without being summoned. If the king did not show her favor, she could have been killed.
We read in Esther that the king did show her favor and gave her audience with him. An interesting thing about this story is that she did not make her purpose for appearing before the king known right away. Rather, she asked for the king and Haman (the man who authored the death warrant for all of the Jews in the kingdom) to come to a special banquet that she was preparing. And at that banquet, her request was for them to attend another banquet!
Why didn’t Esther immediately inform the king about Haman’s evil plot? Why did she wait for the third opportunity to inform the king of what had taken place?
Esther did not make her message known to the king the first time because it was not the right time. The king was not prepared to hear this news. In the midst of kingdom business, Ahasuerus might have considered her accusation an act of treason if not just a piece of palace gossip. We must always remember that God’s timing is not our timing. God is never late!
Another reason for the delay was that more events needed to unfold before the king could be notified. This reason was unknown to Esther. Events took place the very night of the first banquet that changed the whole story completely. Haman would have gallows constructed for Mordecai and the king would discover that Mordecai had saved his life five years earlier.
This story is a beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty. God was definitely at work in the shadows preparing the king for Esther’s request. We must remember that God is always at work and always on time. Never be discouraged when you feel like God is not there. He is there; you just cannot see Him yet!