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The Example of Esther

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 your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 NIV


We might wonder why a book that does not mention God is in the Bible. Esther, an unassuming young woman, was chosen to be queen during Israel's captivity. The story illustrates her courage and willingness to save her people from Haman's wickedness and hate. While God is never mentioned, the book reminds us that God can use anyone to fulfill His plans regardless of their background or status.


God is constantly working behind the scenes to bring about his plans. Even when we cannot see it, God is actively at work. Esther’s story unfolds in seemingly ordinary circumstances. After yet another drinking binge with his pals, the King calls in Queen Vashti to show her off. She rightly refuses, which angers him, and after consulting with the equivalent of his divorce attornies, he dissolves their union and goes looking for a new bride, thus opening the door for Esther. God, in his divine providence, orchestrated these seemingly random events to bring about salvation for Israel. 


The story reminds us of God’s perfect timing. Esther’s rise to prominence occurred precisely when her people needed her most. God’s timing is impeccable, and He knows when to place us where we can make the most significant impact. What God did for Esther and the people of Israel, He does for all who trust in him. Despite our despair and failure to understand the when, how, and why, as His faithful people, we trust that God’s unseen hand is working on our behalf. 


Esther’s example shows us the courage to stand up for what is right. She risked her life by approaching the King uninvited to plead for her people. Her bravery teaches us that sometimes we must take bold steps to advocate for justice, even when it feels daunting. Doing the right thing can be dangerous and unpopular, but God stands with the righteous. 


Yes, God is working behind the scenes and on our behalf, but we also play an essential role. We are His hand, feet, and voice in the earthly realm. We are ordinary people called to do extraordinary and uneasy things, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) 


Circling back to the fact that God is not mentioned, He is not mentioned because there is no need. Those who trust know it’s God. Those seeming coincidences, those perfect answers that come at just the right time, we know from where they come: God, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. 


Merciful God, we come before You with hearts full of gratitude and reverence. Just as Esther faced a critical moment in her life, we recognize that we, too, encounter pivotal moments where our actions can make a difference.


Lord, like Esther, help us to recognize our purpose and calling. May we be willing vessels, ready to step forward when You call us to act. Grant us the courage to stand up for justice, even when it feels daunting. Remind us that You work behind the scenes, orchestrating events for our good and Your glory.


We pray for divine timing, knowing that You place us where we can have the greatest impact. May we trust Your unseen hand, even when circumstances seem uncertain.


Father, we ask for wisdom and discernment. Help us to see beyond our desires and consider the well-being of others. May our intentions be pure and our actions be aligned with Your will.


Finally, Lord, we acknowledge that You are the One who saves, redeems, and transforms. May our lives reflect Your grace and love.


In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


Note: I will take a brief respite during Holy Week in publishing these devotions. I plan to resume writing on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.




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