Thursday, November 29, 2012
the sovereign scepter
And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
The most difficult part of Esther's plan to reveal her Jewish ethnicity to the king was this breach of court protocol. Esther showed up to the King's court unsummoned and the king granted good will to her immediately. She entered his presence welcomed. From here on, in the good graces of the king, she had the best possible setting to make her requests.
From this point on in the story, God moves sovereignly with each step that Esther takes. God uses Haman's pride to devise the instrument of his own demise. In fact, the Persian king's power, the pride of hate-filled Haman, the history of faithful service to the king that Mordecai gave, and the simple obedience of Esther are all elements of God's careful workings of His sovereign plan. Each human being in the story had their own independent plans and actions. And God marvelously superintended them all to His glorious salvific ends.
I find the book of Esther to be a historical tale with a strong theological point. In that sense it is a lot like another Old Testament book with a female lead character: Ruth. God brought hearts together to save lives and further the story of human redemption. That is the beauty of sovereignty that no stale academic debate can capture. It is the drama of human interaction from God's point of view. It is compelling to read, to believe, and to see in action still today in human events.