The Book of Esther records a message Mordecai sends to Esther the queen after an unlikely set of circumstances has made her consort of the Persian emperor Xerxes. “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place… and who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

The doctrine of providence affirms that God is in sovereign charge of all events. The incidents described in Esther, the timing of events and their sequencing, all fall together to bring about the deliverance of God’s people. As a true believer, Mordecai des not know for sure the purpose behind the events in which he has participated, but he is sure that “relief and deliverance” will “arise” for God’s people.

The doctrine of providence which Mordecai illustrates affirms 1) that God’s control is all-inclusive. Nothing happens merely by chance, or is the result of “fate.” 2) Providence does not mean that God violates any individual’s freedom of choice. Each person in the Esther story acts in harmony with his own character, values, and beliefs, without any divine coercion. Providence however affirms that God is able to blend these free choices into his overarching plan, without in any way infringing on human freedom. 3) Providence also involves God working through and within the framework of natural cause and effect, in distinction to miracle.

The doctrine of Providence is not stated explicitly in the Bible. It is taught in the OT’s picture of a sovereign God. However, and is often illustrated in sacred history.

For study: Explore how the events described in Esther worked together to bring about the deliverance that God has promised to his people.

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