“And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17).
The Book of Esther is a small book tucked into the middle of the Old Testament. It contains just ten short chapters, with a beautiful young Jewish orphan and her older cousin as two of the central characters. The book contains a bit of love, a bit of intrigue, good versus evil, and a happy ending when good triumphs over evil. God is never mentioned in the book, but don’t be fooled. He is involved in the story the entire time.
Because the Book of Esther is small and easily read in a short time, we sometimes feel events are happening one, two, three, the end. The story is really spread over several years with silent gaps. Markers help us see the timeline: “in the third year of his reign” (Esther 1:3), “in the seventh year of his reign” (2:16), “in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus” (3:7).
Beyond the basic story of deliverance of God’s people, we learn other valuable lessons from Esther.
- There are no coincidences when God is at work.
God used the actions of Queen Vashti to bring Esther to the palace (chapters 1-2). God placed Mordecai in the king’s gate at the exact time to overhear the plot of Bigthan and Teresh (2:21-23). God gave the king insomnia so he would call for the chronicles to be read to him. It wasn’t by chance they read him the part relating the conspiracy Mordecai overheard (6:2-3).
- It may seem nothing is happening, but God is working behind the scenes.
At least nine years passed between the first chapter of Esther to when Haman’s evil plan was exposed to the king. During that time, God was moving all the pieces in place so he could save His people from destruction. Just because we don’t know what is happening doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
It’s the same with our lives. Our story may not be as dramatic as Esther’s, but God is working in us and through us to bring His purposes to pass. We may not recognize the importance of events until much later. What seems just a chance happening may really be God putting all the pieces in place.
- You are part of God’s story.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV).
Like a jigsaw puzzle, the picture isn’t complete until the last piece is put in place. Be patient. Your life fits in His plan.
Prayer: Lord, when I look at my life, I don’t always feel what I do counts for Your kingdom. I’m not seeing the whole picture or how all the pieces fit. I can’t see what You are doing behind the scenes. Help me to trust You with my life and realize that with Your help, my life does count. You saw me before I was even born, and You have a plan that includes me.