When God Plays The Reverse Card

The story of Esther is better than any mystery or thriller you will ever read. God’s name is not mentioned, His hand is hidden, but His presence is more than apparent! How often have we wondered where God was in a situation, yet in hindsight, we see how He was working. I encourage you to read the entire book as we will celebrate the holiday tonight through tomorrow night and I will be focusing on specific portions in this post. If you don’t know about the holiday, I’ll jump to the end of the story. 

Esther 9:20-22, 27-28 CJB “Mordekhai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Achashverosh, both near and far, 21 instructing them to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year, 22 [to commemorate] the days on which the Jews obtained rest from their enemies and the month which for them was turned from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; they were to make them days of celebrating and rejoicing, sending portions [of food] to each other and giving gifts to the poor. 27 the Jews resolved and took upon themselves, their descendants and all who might join them that without fail they would observe these two days in accordance with what was written in [this letter] and at the appointed time, every year; 28 and that these days would be remembered and observed throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and that these days of Purim would never cease among the Jews or their memory be lost by their descendants.”

There was a wicked man named Haman who wanted to annihilate the Jews. He was a descendant of Agag, who also attacked the Jews (1 Samuel 15). Agag was an Amalekite. The Amalekites attacked the Jews in Exodus chapter seventeen. Haman was influenced by the spirit of the antichrist, whose mission it is to destroy the Jews. At the last battle, we will see the ultimate antichrist defeated by the King of the Jews, Jesus the Messiah, and the devil will be thrown into the pit.

Sadly, in our day, the spirit of the antichrist is prevalent in antisemitism once again. However, the story of Purim reminds us that God will always watch over His people. What speaks personally to me is that all who joined with Jews also joined in on the celebration. As a Christian, I am a fellow citizen of Israel. Their God is my God, and the Feasts and Festivals of the Lord are now part of my heritage as a grafted branch to the olive tree.

Purim does not live in history only, but it reminds us to stand with God’s people and against antisemitism because God will always protect His people.

We see God working throughout the story, from removing queen Vashti to elevate Esther to having Mordechai in the right place at the right time to uncover an assassination plot against the king.

Haman was angry at Mordecai because he wouldn’t bow down to him. Instead of just taking revenge on Mordecai, Haman wanted to rid the kingdom of all the Jews; this is the spirit of the antichrist in operation. So Haman had a gallows made and planned to kill Mordecai and tricked the king into issuing a decree to have all the Jews killed. Everything looked hopeless, but watch how God sovereignly played the reverse card and began changing things after the first banquet Esther hosted. 

Esther 6:1-10 CJB “That night, the king couldn’t sleep; so he ordered the records of the daily journal brought, and they were read to the king. 2 It was found written that Mordekhai had told about Bigtana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers from the group in charge of the private entryways, who had conspired to assassinate King Achashverosh. 3 The king asked, “What honor or distinction was conferred on Mordekhai for this?” The king’s servants answered, “Nothing was done for him.” 4 The king then asked, “Who’s that in the courtyard?” For Haman had come into the outer courtyard of the king’s palace to speak to the king about hanging Mordekhai on the gallows he had prepared for him. 5 The king’s servants told him, “It’s Haman standing there in the courtyard.” The king said, “Have him come in.” 6 So Haman came in. The king said to him, “What should be done for a man that the king wants to honor?” Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king want to honor more than me?” 7 So Haman answered the king, “For a man the king wants to honor, 8 have royal robes brought which the king himself wears and the horse the king himself rides, with a royal crown on its head. 9 The robes and the horse should be handed over to one of the king’s most respected officials, and they should put the robes on the man the king wants to honor and lead him on horseback through the streets of the city, proclaiming ahead of him, ‘This is what is done for a man whom the king wants to honor.’” 10 The king said to Haman, “Hurry, and take the robes and the horse, as you said, and do this for Mordekhai the Jew, who sits at the King’s Gate. Don’t leave out anything you mentioned.”

There was a break in the story between the time Hamon entered the king’s palace and the parade for Mordecai. The procession happened the next day, the same day as the second banquet. 

At the second banquet, Esther revealed her request for the salvation of her life and that of every Jew, and Haman was exposed for manipulating the king.

In Haman, we see a prideful and arrogant man. One who thought he was the only man worthy of honor. Worse still, we see by his advice to the king that he thought he was best suited to rule. God reverses Hamon’s arrogance, pride, and Jew hatred back on his own head.

Esther 7:10-8:2 CJB “So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordekhai. Then the king’s anger subsided. 8:1 That same day King Achashverosh gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Ester the queen. Also Mordekhai appeared before the king, for Ester had revealed his relationship to her. 2 The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordekhai. Then Ester put Mordekhai in charge of Haman’s house.”

All of Haman’s great wealth and position was given to Mordecai. Chapter ten tells us that he was placed second in command. Does that remind you of the story of Joseph? God always watches over His people, and God always promotes His people. Even when they aren’t walking in His ways, God calls them back to Himself and extends grace.

For the Jews, this story reminds them of God’s covenant with them and their obligation to God. For Christians, it reminds us that God has not and will never forsake His people. Not only that, but as Christians, we should defend the Jewish people, speak up amid antisemitism, and acknowledge that the gospel is from the Jews and to the Jews first (John 4:22 and Romans 1:16).

Read the Book of Esther tonight and tomorrow. Celebrate God’s faithfulness, give to the poor, and bless Israel.


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