THAT class is going to be learning about Esther today.
Of all the books of the Old Testament so far, this is definitely the easiest to read. It was written like an entertaining short story. Possibly even a comedy, meant to make the reader laugh. Consider chapter 6 where Haman has to parade his mortal enemy through the streets or even the king’s reaction to Haman’s execution in 7:10 (“Then the king was not so angry anymore.”) It is definitely a good read! It has even been made into movies and miniseries (none of which I have seen, all of which I am interested in watching now).
I am going to assume at this point that we all know the story of Esther (otherwise this post would be entirely too long… trust me, I wrote it. It’s long.) If not, take a moment to read it. I recommend a translation like the New Century Version or the Contemporary English Version. These are translations that are easy to follow without losing the meat of the story. Go on, read it! I’ll wait…
It’s a great story, isn’t it? But do you notice what’s missing? There is no mention of God! This basic fact nearly kept the book of Esther from being included in the bible. But we know God was not absent from the story. We know that God was hidden in the minute details. He was placing a young Jewish girl inside the Persian palace. He was orchestrating Mordecai’s name into the royal papers. He was protecting His people from the Holocaust. His name may not be written on the pages, but He is an important player in the story.
Sometimes God chooses to remain anonymous. People often refer to those times as coincidences. The car doesn’t run out of gas until it reaches the pump. You are angry that you are running late, but your tardiness keeps you from being involved in a multi-car accident. Whatever the coincidence is, we should recognize that God is hiding in the details. He may not make His presence known, but He is always there.
“Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” Matthew 28:20 (NCV)
Thank you, Father, for holding us in your merciful hands each and every day. Thank you for taking care of every detail of our days, even though we may not always recognize Your presence. Please open our eyes to see Your presence in the little details. And then open our hearts and mouths to praise you for it!