Giving God an Open Door (Esther #19)

Text: Esther 6:1-3

King Ahasuerus can’t sleep.  He calls for the records to be read to him.  He’s going to get some work done if he can’t sleep.  So he reviews the history of his reign.  Considers past decisions he’s made and the consequences of those decisions.  Then he comes to the assassination attempt on his life that had been thwarted by Mordecai.  As king Ahasuerus reflects on the events of the assassination plot he recalls nothing had ever been done for Mordecai to honor his saving the king’s life.

Prayer opens doors for the Lord

  • Concealed because God is not directly mentioned
    • Someone may call it God’s providence: the hidden hand of God.
    • God is not mentioned in Esther because Esther is simply a record of events without any spiritual commentary.
    • Now, why is there no spiritual commentary?  Because nothing in Esther had been prophesied.  There are no prophecies to reference.
    • But the point missed in all of the providential talk is WHY is God’s hand at work here?  What has been going on in chapter 4?  Prayer and fasting.
      • This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting, Jesus said one time.
      • So in the absence of God’s promises, when there is no scriptural reference point for events going on, prayer and fasting bridge the gap.
    • On that night could not the king sleep… (vs 1)
  • How many sleepless nights have changed the course of history?!
    • Genesis 41:8  Pharaoh has a dream from God that troubles his spirit.  It gives Joseph the opportunity to stand before Pharaoh and eventually leads to his promotion.
    • Daniel 2:1 Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams wherewith his his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.  Daniel is the solution and is promoted.
    • Ezra 1:1-2 …stirred up the spirit of Cyrus… Isaiah 44:28 – 45:1
    • Concealed in the spirit of the king
    • God is at work in the spirit of the king and you can’t see that in a simple record of events.
  • The Lord does not force the king against his will to make decisions.  But the Lord does try the heart and even ponders the heart.
  • Here’s a great verse Calvinists love to use to say God makes kings make decisions.  Proverbs 21:1-2 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
    • But you have to read verse 2 to get the context of verse 1.  God tries the heart.  He picks the thing up in his hand and inspects it.  And he turns it to inspect the other side of it.  He’s inspecting it for worms of wickedness so those things can be addressed.
    • David, a king, said Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
  • God’s work is spiritual work.  Prayer and fasting opened the door for the Lord here.

Character opens doors for the Lord

  • And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh…who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. (vs 2)
  • Mordecai had been a man of character.  He thwarted the assassination attempt on the king.  No doubt his life would’ve been in danger in that plot.  If those men would kill the king, then they would kill anyone aiding the king too.  He was a loyal servant.
  • Character opens and closes doors for the Lord.  Take for instance a liar who gets saved.  After he gets saved he has a hard time breaking the habit of lying.  Consequently, unsaved people don’t trust what he says.  He has drug the Lord’s name through the mud and closed a door of opportunity through his lack of character.

Humility opens doors for the Lord

  • …there is nothing done for him. (vs 3)
  • After stopping the assassination plot, Mordecai did what very few people do.  He did nothing.  No self promotion.  No renegotiating or vying for position in the king’s cabinet.  This gave God the opportunity to promote him.
  • Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
  • …they have their reward…