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Divinely Ordered Insomnia

December 14, 2023

Today we come to Psalm 142 which records David’s prayer “when he was in the cave,” probably at the time when David was running from Saul (cf., 1 Samuel 21-23; Psalm 142). This prayer is a “cry for mercy and a complaint” in which David “tells God his trouble” (verses 1-2). This is an important, instructive Psalm for us today because it shows us that we can voice our cares and concerns to our God. In life, we sometimes feel that we have been cornered into a place that seems to have no exit, leaving us with the sense that we have no pathway for escape. Like David, we feel like “no one is there for us; no one is at our right hand; no one is concerned about us; we have no refuge, and no one cares about our lives” (verse 4). When we “are in desperate need” (verse 6), we should “cry out” to the One Who is there - the only One Who can “rescue us and set us free” (verses 6-7). By the way, as was true for David, it’s a good idea to maintain a warm, growing relationship with Him before things become desperate.

In Revelation, the action now moves from earth in Revelation 3 to heaven in Revelation 4. We see God’s glorious throne surrounded by great power, beauty, majesty, 24 elders, and four living creatures. All of these are “praising, honoring, and worshiping God, day & night” (verse 8). Because God is the “holy Creator of all things,” He is also “worthy to receive glory, honor, and power” (verses 8-11). To our detriment, our culture has lost sight and meaning of the importance of God’s holiness and His worthiness. This cannot end well for our culture.

We also come now to Esther 6-8, where we encounter the denouement of the narrative - beginning with the king’s divinely ordered insomnia. God is working always and everywhere in all the places invisible and inaudible to us. Thankfully, God never sleeps, and as He wills in His sovereign purposes, He is free to impose sleep or insomnia on mankind whenever and wherever He wants (cf., Genesis 2:21; 15:12; Esther 6:1; Daniel 2:1-25). In this section, God turns the table on the arrogant Haman who attempted to grasp glory and honor for himself - honor that was due to Mordecai – who actually saved the king’s life. The king assigns Haman the embarrassing task of showing the king’s favor to Mordecai. By now - although way too late - Zeresh, Haman’s wife, begins to get it: she says, “your downfall has started” (verse 13). It’s not a good idea to oppose the Jews - God is their special Caretaker and Protector (cf., Psalm 121:6-7; Zechariah 14:12-ff.).

In chapter 7, at her banquet, Esther takes her stand and announces to the king what has happened and who initiated the impending “destruction” on her people - “this vile Haman” (verse 6). Interestingly, Haman happened coincidentally to be “falling on Esther’s couch before the king’s eyes” (verse 8). Sin compounds into a downward spiral, and man is powerless to free himself from his fall. By the king’s immediate edict, Haman “was impaled on the pole he set up for Mordecai” (verse 10). In chapter 8, thanks to Esther’s intervention [a picture of Christ’s intercession for us], we see the jubilation of the Jews upon their redemptive opportunity granted now by the king. This chapter beautifully foreshadows the heavenly celebrations that God - our eternal King - has planned for us with Him in the future.

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