On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles…
— A trifling circumstance to record. Ah! how important are little things: the unnoticed things are the life-blood of the world. In a great palace we think of the marble and the stone, the cedar and the iron, but who thinks of the mortar and the nails? And yet, in the architecture, mortar and nails are as important as pillars and columns and beams. Thus in the architecture of the world, and in the conduct of its moral affairs, trifles are the mortar and the nails.
I. The first thing I see here is A WONDERFUL LESSON IN THE ILLIMITABLE PLAN OF PROVIDENCE. How events ripen to the close! How crime matures itself to its doom! Amazing is the work of providence. You see two distinct sets of actions progressing at the same moment. The election of Esther, the choice of a merely capricious king; the elevation to dignity: the integrity of Mordecai; the ambition of Haman: the desire to crush the Jews; the yearning desire to save them. All these things are working together. You remember "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." And "all things work together for good to them that love God." Calmly and surely proceeds the Divine plan, and, unaware of the Divine idea, proceeds the infernal plan. See how triumphantly Haman looks at the letters of persecution signed with the signet of the king: and see how he gloats as the morning sun shines over the black gallows-tree, and never for a moment suspects it to be his own. The poor blind fool checkmated by himself! ingeniously rearing his own scaffold, and twisting the rope for his own neck. You will perhaps say to me, And the answer perhaps only pushes the inquiry farther back. "Why did He allow Haman to be near the court at all?" The answer must be, that God and providence are not the capricious and intermeddling agencies you have sometimes supposed: they prosecute their own path, and Satan and sin prosecute their path too. On they hasten, every step hastens to judgment; every movement winds the entangling coil of circumstances more irretrievably around them.
II. HOW, FROM THE WIDE SWEEP OF IMMENSE PROVIDENCES WE DESCEND TO TRIFLES! How the scheme of providence includes and encloses the small details of human affairs! I will extract three other lessons —
1. How remote, and yet how distinct and minute, are the operations of God's providence! Here was a circumstance connected with the history of the Church, with the preservation of God's people, and with the conservation of Divine truth, and the advent of the Messiah. How small a place is Shushan and the whole of Media and Ahasuerus!
2. See the perfect compatibility, nay, unity, of prayer with the plans of providence. The prayers of Mordecai, the mournings of the Jews, they are the operating causes round the sleepless couch. The prayer so troubled the couch, that the king could not sleep.
3. May I not apply it yet once more, and ask you the meaning of some sleepless nights, some troubled days?
(E. P. Hood.)
Parallel VersesKJV: On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.