We know that God is sovereign, right? We teach that truth to our people. We talk about His sovereignty in the midst of unfathomable world events. We help others apply His sovereignty to their lives.
But do we really believe God is sovereign in everything in our lives?
Have you ever wondered if God sees you, if He really notices the things you do and the times you are faithful especially when difficulties come your way?
In Esther 2, we read of a rather odd event. Below in bold is the sort of thing that seems unimportant at the time and, if we were reading Esther for the first time, we would wonder why the author even mentions it.
“During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were hanged on a gallows. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king” (Esther 2:21-23). Emphasis added.
As we read the story of Esther, so much rests on the fact that this event was written down. In Esther 6, the Scriptures explain the importance of it being penned.
“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes” (Esther 6:2).
Mordecai was faithfully following God, and yet by doing so he angered the king’s second in command, Haman, who ended up ordering the destruction of all Jews simply because he didn’t like Mordecai.
We don’t know exactly what Mordecai was thinking or feeling, but I can understand a little of it. He was faithful to God, obeyed all of God’s instructions including giving honor to the king and yet because one guy didn’t like the way he looked, Mordecai and everyone around him would be punished.
He was probably tempted to be bitter.
Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever wondered if God sees you, if He really notices the things you do and the times you are faithful especially when difficulties come your way?
I have certainly felt this way. There have been times in my ministry and personal life—especially during the year I battled breast cancer—when I wondered what God was doing. I know in my head that all things work for His glory and for my good. But how was cancer going to accomplish that?
If you know the story, then you know Mordecai trusted God would save the Jews through Esther or in the future through the coming Messiah. Even when the days were dark and seemingly hopeless, Mordecai continued to hope in the Lord.
From our view, Mordecai’s story is simple because we know the end. We know that the king would read about Mordecai’s faithfulness. We knew that because of that discovery, the king would want to honor Mordecai and that this act would eventually save the Jews from annihilation.
Yet, while we don’t know the end of our own story, we do know the same God that saved Mordecai’s life also saved ours. The same God who caused a king to have a sleepless night can also rearrange our circumstances in the blink of an eye. If we saw the long view of our lives as God does, we would see that He really is working all things for good.
Understanding and accepting the sovereignty of God doesn’t always come easy. Just like Mordecai, we will have days that we must trust God even when we can’t understand what He is doing. During my battle with breast cancer, I knew that God had a greater purpose for my life, but I had to choose to trust that truth every day and believe that no experience God allows into my life will be wasted.
May we have open eyes to see the ways that God is sovereignly working our lives so we can glorify Him through it!
Published November 2, 2017