And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land, and on the isles of the sea.…
To extirpate the Jewish nation would have been to destroy the Church of God, to make void His everlasting covenant, and to bring to nought His merciful and gracious counsels in behalf of a sinful and unhappy world.
1. It was not, therefore, for his own sake only that Mordecai was exalted.
2. Before Mordecai was exalted it was the will of God to try the faith of the Jews.
3. One great purpose of the trial was to recall them to a recollection of their true office and position in the world as witnesses of God and pilgrims to the heavenly city.
4. God prepared an advocate and protector for His people years before Haman had power to do them harm.
5. To prepare the way for this advocate and protector, the divorce and dethronement of Vashti was overruled by God for the advancement of Esther to the crown of Persia.
6. The foundation of Mordecai's greatness was actually laid by his bitterest and most implacable enemy.
7. To pave the way for Mordecai's future advancement, a claim had to be established on the gratitude and confidence of the king, long before the rise of Haman.
8. The time pointed out by the lot for the slaughter of the Jews providentially fell so close to the end of the year as to give almost as much time as possible to Esther and Mordecai to consider what steps could be taken to avert the destruction of their nation.
9. Esther's concealing her Jewish origin, both before and after coming to the throne, was overruled to the confusion and destruction of Haman. He would never have issued the decree against the Jews had he known that the queen was a Jewess.
10. Haman's concealing from the king that it was the Jewish nation he wished to destroy was overruled so as to become the means of his own downfall.
11. The insolence and impatience of Haman getting the better of his prudence was the means of defeating and disappointing his malicious schemes.
12. That Esther should have been received with favour by the king, after she had apparently been slighted by him for thirty days, was clearly an instance of the hand of God.
13. That Esther, through some impression on her mind, should have deferred her petition till the following day, was one of the most remarkable providential interferences in the whole history. The delay led to the erection of the gibbet on which Haman afterwards suffered and also to his humiliation in being compelled to do public honours to Mordecai.
14. The king's sleepless night had momentous results.
15. How providential that Haman should have been at hand at the very moment the king was desirous for some one to propose a suitable reward for Mordecai!
16. Haman's humiliation at being compelled to do honour to Mordecai so dispirited him that when Esther's terrible charge was made against him he was not able to make even a plausible defence, such as his ignorance that the queen was a Jewess and his ignorance of any conscious intention to injure her.
17. Even the trivial circumstances that the chamberlains sent to summon Haman to the banquet arrived before he had time to have the gibbet taken down and removed, and that thus they came to be informed that it was prepared for Mordecai, were as plainly the work of providence as any other event in the whole narrative.
18. To all these extraordinary accidents and coincidences we must add that the issue of the whole matter placed the Jews in a much more prosperous condition than they were in before, and confirmed their faith in the Divine promises and protection.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.