I’m reading through the Old Testament, and this morning, my bookmark waited at the beginning of Esther.
Like most of the Bible, when you’re in to it, it’s hard to read it and not learn something new, or see something you didn’t see before. This morning, chapter six, and the sub-plot about Mordecai and the plot to kill the king really spoke to me.
Two of the king’s doorkeepers, Bigthan and Teresh, get mad about something and hatch this crazy plot to kill the king. Mordecai – Esther’s adoptive father – finds out about it, tells Queen Esther, who informs the king on behalf of Mordecai. Some people look into it, discover that it’s true, kill the two guys who were planning to kill the king, and make a note in the king’s official record.
The whole story is three verses long, and then the book goes right back to the king’s right-hand-man, Haman, hating Mordecai. It seems a little out of place.
Until chapter six
In chapter five, Haman’s hatred of Mordecai gets really out of hand and he builds a gallows – 50 feet high – to kill Mordecai on. His plan is to go visit the king early the next morning, and suggest they kill Mordecai. He’s the king’s favorite, after all, so he’s pretty confident the king will let him to whatever he wants.
But chapter six starts, “That night the king could not sleep.”
Hmm. So the king has someone come in and read through the official records – whether he was trying to catch up on some work, or bore himself to sleep, I’m not sure. The reader gets to the part about Mordecai uncovering the plot to kill the king, and they discover that nothing has been done to thank Mordecai for his great service.
When Haman shows up to ask about killing Mordecai, he ends up having to parade Mordecai through the city and sing his praises. Everything starts to go downhill for Haman and his Nazi plan after that point.
This is what stood out to me this morning: We don’t really know how much time passed between the end of chapter two and the beginning of chapter six. Mordecai did this great service for the king and the king did … nothing, for Mordecai. No banquet, no bonus, no holiday, not even a Thank You For Saving My Life card. Nothing.
Sometimes it feels like we work hard at something, or we pray a lot for someone, or we give a big offering, or we volunteer to serve people, or we read our Bibles every morning, and God does … nothing. Sometimes it’s easy to feel forgotten, like God’s not really going to do what He promised, or that His Word isn’t as perfect as we thought.
But God sees everything. He doesn’t forget, He’s just outside of time. His plan is perfect, and at just the right moment He will answer the prayer, return the investment, bless the effort, deliver the oppressed, open your eyes, etc.
If you’re feeling like God’s not “working” right now, or His Word doesn’t “work,” hold on a little longer. The Bible says His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He has a plan, and it’s a good plan, just hold on.