Series: “BETWEEN THE LINES: The Inconspicuous Providence of God” by Pastor David R. Stokes
Sunday, July 15th, 2018: “PRIDE & PROVIDENCE”
As we begin our journey through the fascinating Old Testament Book of Esther, we plunge into a study about the PROVIDENCE of God. There is a saying, “God plays chess, while we play checkers.” In other words, God is several “moves” ahead of us—at all times. He already knows the outcome. And this should encourage us to trust Him at every turn.
The late J. Vernon McGee was a great radio Bible teacher and he said this about PROVIDENCE:
“Providence means that the hand of God is in the glove of human events. When God is not at the steering wheel, He is the backseat driver. He is the coach who calls the signals from the bench. Providence is the unseen rudder on the ship of state. God is the pilot at the wheel during the night watch. As someone has said, ‘He makes great doors swing on little hinges.’ God brought together a little baby's cry and a woman's heart down by the River Nile when Pharaoh's daughter went to bathe. The Lord pinched little Moses and he let out a yell. The cry reached the heart of the princess, and God used it to change the destiny of a people. That was providence. That was the hand of God.”
Though God is not specifically mentioned in the Book of Esther—He’s certainly there. You can see Him “between the lines.” His hidden hand. His holy fingerprints. We must bear in mind that nothing in our lives happens by mere chance. Life is not random or chaotic—it’s all planned out:
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
God even worked through a wicked and self-absorbed king named Xerxes. The Persian potentate was extravagant and proud. He made terrible choices. He was totally controlled by his lusts. But God was playing chess and working out details in advance.
Never underestimate the small things in life that seem unimportant or even coincidental—God is right there using all of these things toward His best for us!
- Looking back—can you now see how God used something small that turned out to be PROVIDENTIAL?
- How did PROVIDENCE help the MIRACULOUS when Jesus was born?
- How can an understanding and accepting of PROVIDENCE help us overcome bitterness?