On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
I. We have here a wonderful lesson in the illimitable plan of Providence. How events ripen to the close. How crime matures itself to its doom. The pathway of God's providence is a fixed idea; the pathway of Satanic design is a fixed idea; wide apart, they meet at last, only that the ruin of the one and the triumph of the other may be completed.
II. How from the wide sweep of immense providences we descend to trifles. How the insignificant circumstance is the culminating and completing link in the great chapter of causation. "In that night could not the king sleep."
III. How remote, and yet how distinct and minute, are the operations of God's providence! Here was a circumstance connected with the history of the Church, with the preservation of God's people, and with the conservation of Divine truth and the advent of the Messiah. How small a place is Shushan and the whole of Media. Where are they all now but in the words of that little episode?
IV. See the perfect compatibility, nay, unity of prayer with the plans of Providence. The prayers of Mordecai, the mourning of the Jews—they are the operating causes round the sleepless couch of the king.
V. May we not ask ourselves the meaning of some sleepless nights, some troubled days? What spirit has pressed your brow, and given you troubled dreams and sleep? The same that disturbed the king. Is it successful, or has the morning light dispelled all?
E. Paxton Hood, Sermons, p. 357.
I. It is hardly affirming too much to say that on the sleepless night of the Persian king was made to depend our rescue from everlasting death; at least, and undeniably, the restlessness of the king was one of those instruments through which God wrought in carrying on His purpose of redeeming our race through a Descendant of David according to the flesh. Observe, then, how wonderful is God in that He can accomplish great ends by insignificant means.
II. Notice how little there was which could be called supernatural interference, how simply, without any violence, the Divine providence effected its purpose. It was in no way singular that the king should be restless; no miracle was required to explain his choosing to hear the records of his empire; everything was just what might equally have happened had matters been left to themselves, in place of having been disposed and directed by God.
III. We are mightily encouraged in all the business of prayer by the broken rest of the Persian king. Look from Israel delivered from Pharaoh to Israel delivered from Haman, and we are encouraged to believe that God will not fail even us in our extremity, seeing that He could save His people through such a simple and unsuspected process as this.
IV. The agency employed on the king was so natural, so undistinguishable from the workings of his own mind, that he could never have suspected a Divine interference, and must have been perfectly at liberty either to do or not to do, as the secret impulse prescribed. It depends on ourselves, on the exercise of our own will, whether the suggestions of God's Spirit be cherished or crushed, whether the impulses be withstood or obeyed.
H. Melvill, Sermons, vol. i., p. 116.
References: Esther 6:1—G. W. McCree, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xi., p. 11. Esther 6:1-14.—A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther, p. 213. 6—A. Raleigh, Book of Esther, p. 134. 6-7—Ibid., p. 155. Esther 7:1-10.—A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther, p. 236. Esther 7:3.—Old Testament Outlines, p. 89. Esther 8:1-7.—A. Raleigh, Book of Esther, p. 180. Esther 8:1-14.—A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther, p. 257. Esther 8:6.—J. Edmunds, Sermons in a Village Church, p. 282. Esther 8:7 -ix.—A. Raleigh, Book of Esther, p. 205. Esther 8:15-17 -ix. 1-19.—A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther, p. 278. Esther 9:1.—Spurgeon, vol. xx., No. 1201. Esther 9:20-32—xi. 3.—A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther, p. 299. Esther 9:27, Esther 9:28.—G. Moberly, Sermons at Winchester College, p. 324. 9-11—A. Raleigh, Book of Esther, p. 231. Esther 10:3.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 335.
And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,
Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:
And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.
And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.