“Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, ‘Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.’ This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.

‘God is preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity comes, He can fit them into their places in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from.’ A.B.Simpson.

The ground is being prepared for Esther to take her place on history’s grand stage. The invisible God is in all the details. At least two details had to fall into place at this point: a.) the king had to remember what he had decreed while in his drunken state (1:19); b.) he had to be happy with the advice he received (4). Admittedly, a pagan king, used to having all his sensual appetites continually gratified was hardly likely to refuse this counsel! But you never know. Such kings could be capricious.

(‘Observe’, says Matthew Henry, ‘The extravagant course that was taken to please the king with another wife instead of Vashti. Josephus says that when his anger was over he was exceedingly grieved that the matter was carried so far, and would have been reconciled to Vashti but that, by the constitution of the government, the judgment was irrevocable—that therefore, to make him forget her, they contrived how to entertain him first with a great variety of concubines, and then to fix him to the most agreeable of them all for a wife instead of Vashti. The marriages of princes are commonly made by policy and interest, for the enlarging of their dominions and the strengthening of their alliances; but this must be made partly by the agreeableness of the person to the king’s fancy, whether she was rich or poor, noble or ignoble. What pains were taken to humour the king! As if his power and wealth were given him for no other end than that he might have all the delights of the sense wound up to the height of pleasurableness, and exquisitely refined, though at the best they are but dross and dregs in comparison with divine and spiritual pleasures.’)

For now, simply note that when God intends to do something with someone, you will marvel at His attention to detail. But it may only be in retrospect that you see it.

PRAYER: Help me, Almighty God, to really see that ‘History is ‘HIS STORY’.