1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

Evidently Esther has been previously clothed in sackcloth as appropriate to a period of fasting (ch. 4:16), as the Saints are found today in desolation until invited to approach the great monarch.*

2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

A good man's/woman's steps are ordered of the Lord

and that -all things work together for good for them who love God and are called according to His purpose."

But it would seem as if our circumstances did not correspond with these statements. If we gave in to the impressions of natural experience, we should conclude there was no element of divine guidance in our life - all is so intensely dark - so perfectly natural.

There is nothing in our life on which we can put a finger and say "This is divine," as contrasted with something that is human. We have no burning bush; no dry fleece; no angelic visit. Without instruction, we might suppose that therefore there is no God in our life ã no guidance to our steps. In this, we should make a great and demoralizing mistake. Here is where the Esther narrative comes to our aid.

God may direct a line of circumstances apparently natural entirely throughout. Our inability to detect His participation is no proof that His hand is not there. It will not follow that His hand is in any particular set of circumstances. It is only in certain cases where His guidance takes part. It all depends upon whether they stand related to His purpose.

The point lies here, that our circumstances being natural does not mean that they are not also divine. We stand related to the purpose of God if we are children of God, and we are children of God if we are obedient believers of the Truth in the love and life thereof.

It is therefore no presumption for us to believe that in the dreary lives of our probation, our affairs, though not apparently, are really guided to those issues of life which God has appointed, and in the realization of which we must utterly fail if left to ourselves. It is not in man that liveth to direct his steps.

4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

The unseen Hand of Providence is revealed in a most wonderful way ...It is the contest between the faithful and the wicked; the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, played out in the land of exile.
The faithful actions of Esther (representing the Saints) and those of the enemy Haman (the Sin power) are seen in active combat. The way in which Esther (the Saints) observes the signs of the times, and responds to the circumstances. *

7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

Haman's happiness is soon turned to annoyance at the sight of Mordecai (Christ). He had exulted at the sight of royal favour, and seemed to himself to have attained, or be on the eve of achieving, the pinnacle of greatness (like the Pharisee who prayed with himself: Lk. 18:11-12). The mighty is about to fall!*

*GEM, Logos.

10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.