The Book of Esther
Last week I shared a few thoughts about God ‘working his purpose out’ and that God was ‘always at work.’
This week I was reminded of the Book of Esther. It has an amazing story in it, full of drama and twists and turns, as well as clearly defined villains and heroes. It’s one of only two books in the bible where God is not actually mentioned. However, God’s presence and deliverance of his people is clearly felt and implied throughout the story.
Esther, gifted with being beautiful, is chosen to become Queen following Queen Vashti’s disobedience to the King.
Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, requests her help when he hears of Haman’s plot to exterminate the Jews living in Persia. At first Esther is unhappy about helping because it means approaching the king without first having been summoned – a crime that could carry the death penalty!
Mordecai tries to persuade her by saying:
‘For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’ Esther 4 v 14
Esther tells Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Susa together to fast for 3 days and says ….
’then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’ Esther 4 v 16
In brief… Esther goes to the king, Mordecai is honoured, Haman is hanged and the Jews triumph!
We can see clearly that God is at work in the lives of both Esther and Mordecai and in the affairs of a nation. Esther was placed in a royal position, not by chance, but for a purpose. At one stage, Mordecai’s life is in danger from the evil Haman but God was in control and the tables were turned around. Esther too was protected by God when she went before the king. Against all the odds the king later issued a decree to help the Jews.
Esther and Mordecai both behaved with integrity and did the right thing although neither of them knew what the outcome would be. They trusted in God’s protection.
And finally – Esther and Mordecai’s trust in God brought great rewards:
‘In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.’ Esther 8 v 17
Although we may not understand everything that is happening around us, whether it’s the coronavirus or in our own personal lives, we must trust in God’s protection and know that he is at work and he is in control.