Esther 9 – 10 … Consider Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary

Now… when the king’s command and edict were about to be executed, on the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them, (9:1).


Calculation: “that which is determined, estimated, evaluated or gauged by reasoning, common sense, or practical experience.”
Contrary: “opposite in nature or character; diametrically or mutually opposed; opposite in direction or position; unfavorable or adverse.”


According to their calculations, the enemies of the Jews had the victory, hands down; and everyone was ready.

Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder. 14 A copy of the edict to be issued as law in every province was published to all the peoples so that they should be ready for this day, (Esther 3:13-14).

But the enemies of God were unaware of how Almighty God works, how He cares for His people and how very different His ways are than those of man. His enemies had no clue; but they were about to find out. They were about to come face to face with Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary.

…when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary…(9:1).

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
hope: “7663. שָׂבַר śāḇar: A verb meaning to scrutinize, to expect with hope and patience, to hope, to tarry, to view, to wait.”
turned to the contrary: (is one word in the Hebrew language): “2015. הָפַךְ hāp̱aḵ: A verb meaning to turn around, to change, to throw down, to overturn, to pervert, to destroy, to be turned against, to turn here and there, to wander… Metaphorically, the word comes to mean to change (by turning).”

The enemies’ hope, a result of their scrutinizing and calculating, would be turned around, overturned and destroyed. And that is what happens when one engages in Calculations apart from Him, for His ways and thoughts are not like ours.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it,”
(Isaiah 55:8-11).

His ways and thoughts, so unlike ours, Turn Calculations to the Contrary in order to accomplish His desires and purpose.

Consider Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary

  • He Turns Calculations to the Contrary: what is meant for evil, He Turns to the good.
    • “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive,” (Genesis 50:20).
  • He Turns Calculations to the Contrary: what is intended to curse, He Turns to a blessing.
    • “Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you,” (Deuteronomy 23:5).
  • He Turns Calculations to the Contrary: what leads to mourning and grief, He Turns to dancing and gladness.
    • You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
      You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
      (Psalm 30:11).
  • He Turns Calculations to the Contrary: what begets mourning and fainting, He Turns to praise and strength.
    • To grant those who mourn in Zion,
      Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
      The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
      The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
      So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
      The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified, (Isaiah 61:3).
  • He Turns Calculations to the Contrary: what are the adversities and trials of this life, He Turns to His purpose for our good.
    • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,(Romans 8:28).

How do we respond to Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary?

He will always Turn Calculations to the Contrary. What we believe is hidden, He will Turn to be revealed.

For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil, (Ecclesiastes 12:4).

When we have trusted Jesus Christ for our salvation and His Spirit for our regeneration, we can stand before Him assured that we will be judged, not on the basis of our own Calculations, but solely by His act of grace through Christ our Savior.

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, (Titus 3:5-6).

And we can be assured that as we trust Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary, He will never Turn away from us; and He will Turn our hearts to Him.

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me,” (Jeremiah 32:40).

May we never trust our own Calculations for this life. We will never fully understand everything about our God, but in faith we can know Him and trust His Word that reveals how He Turns to the Contrary by His lovingkindness, justice and righteousness.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord, (Jeremiah 9:24).

There are several teachings in the Bible of how He Turns Calculations to the Contrary; teachings that we are to accept and abide in, if we wish to experience all He intends for us in this life of faith.

Today, as we consider Him Who Turns Calculations to the Contrary, let us pray He will have His way in us, that He would grow us in our faith and Turn Us to the Contrary.

  • May He Turn Our Calculations about Finding our Life to the Contrary; for it is through our Losing our Life that we Find our Life.
    • “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it,” (Matthew 10:39).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Living to the Contrary; for it is through our Dying that we Live.
    • Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,” (John 12:24).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Receiving to the Contrary, for it is through our Giving that we Receive.
    • “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,’ (Acts 20:35).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Freedom to the Contrary; for it is through our Becoming Slaves to Him that we are Free.
    • and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness, (Romans 6:18).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Strength to the Contrary; for it is through our Weakness that we are Strong.
    • Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong, (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Gaining to the Contrary; for it is through our Losing that we Gain.
    • But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, (Philippians 3:7-8).
  • May He Turn Our Calculations about our Being Exalted to the Contrary; for it is through our Humility that we are Exalted.
    • Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you, (James 4:10).

Of this we can be sure, He will always bring His Word to pass as He Turns the Calculations of man to the Contrary, in order to accomplish all His perfect and holy desire.

Whatever we are facing today, let us not buy into the world’s way, engaging in Calculations apart from His Word. As we seek Him daily, let us ask Him to Turn to the Contrary all our fears and doubts, that He would strengthen our faith and grow us to thoroughly trust His plans for our hope and our future.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Let’s Grow Together!

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