December 26, 2013

God’s Unexpected Plan

Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
—Esther 2:8–9

God’s plan for your life will often come through unexpected events that force you in a direction you never would have gone. Esther experienced the providential leading of God that gave her assignment a “birthplace.”

The book of Esther opens with a wild seven-day party in the king’s palace. As the icing on the cake, the custom was to bring the queen out to dance in order to close the deal. There was nothing unusual about the king asking Queen Vashti to dance; what was unusual was for her to refuse. When the queen failed to appear, one of his warlords exclaimed,

The queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, “King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.” This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath. (Esther 1:17–18)

Greatly embarrassed, King Ahasuerus decided to get rid of his queen and find a new one via a “national beauty contest.” As a result, one hundred twenty-seven women were selected from the provinces for the king’s consideration. Esther, a young orphan girl, was chosen as one of them.

Queen Vashti’s fatal attitude set the stage for the higher purpose of God. Sometimes, when things happen you can’t explain, these paradoxical occurrences tell us that somebody else is in charge. As Christians, we don’t believe things in our lives happen by chance; instead, we believe God has a plan for each of us. It’s interesting how God often seems to use people with disadvantaged backgrounds—Esther was an orphan. But God has a habit of picking up nobodies and making them somebodies.

Overnight, God placed the orphan girl, Esther, in the palace. Her godly uncle, Mordecai, had raised her and groomed her for greatness. She knew she was special even if she didn’t have pretty shoes and even if she lived in a little hut. Mordecai had taught her about her covenant relationship with God.

Lord God, thank You that You enjoy making nobodies into somebodies, and that Your wisdom exceeds and confounds the wisdom of this world. Please guide me to the right place and make me part of Your exciting plan. Amen.