Last week, we saw Haman’s plan to kill Mordecai. We saw how his faulty joy led him to devise a wicked plan. And this week, we see what happens. While Haman has the gallows made, King Ahasuerus can’t sleep.
“On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus” (Esth. 6:1-2 ESV).
Some might think Esther is a book without God. After all, God’s name has yet to be mentioned in the text. And it never will be. Instead, there’s a king named Ahasuerus who seems to rule the world. Throwing a banquet. Divorcing his wife. And summoning hundreds of virgins to sleep with him.
I mean, can this book be any less godly? But the past few weeks have revealed God’s hand at work. We’ve seen His sovereignty despite a prideful king. And this week is no different. God’s name is never mentioned, but He is sovereign in the silence.
In Psalm 73, the author contemplates whether or not he should be like those who disobey God. After all, he writes, “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind” (v. 3-5 ESV).
The psalmist finds himself examining the lives of the ungodly. And what an easier life it seems to be. One in which the ways of God are rejected. The desires of the flesh fulfilled. The riches of the world consumed.
In fact, the psalmist continues, “Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence” (v. 12-13 ESV).
“Have a seat. We’ll call for you shortly,” they say. Open a magazine or two. Ruffle through the newspaper. Scroll through Facebook. And watch some news on a tiny television. Welcome to the waiting room.
It can’t get much worse than this, folks. The waiting room sits among the most dreaded places on the planet. Next to the Walmart checkout line.
But how often do we find ourselves here? Not the typical waiting room decked with cushions and chairs. Rather than waiting on a doctor, we’re waiting for an answer. A cure. A job. A spouse. A friend. I think you get the point. None of us are exempt from the waiting rooms of life.
I’m surprised by the size of self-help sections in bookstores. Maybe I shouldn’t be. According to an article from The New Yorker called “Improving ourselves to death,” there’s a self-improvement industry that “takes in ten billion dollars a year.” Why? Because people everywhere—of all ethnicities, cultures, and religions—recognize a need for help.
It’s not a new concept. Consider the words of the psalmist who writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2 ESV).