To many people, the book of Esther is a good story book filled with spiritual lessons. That is true. What many don’t realize is that whereas the book is in the Bible, it doesn’t have a single reference to God, ever. You can go ahead and read it quickly. You’ll be surprised Jehovah God is not mentioned there.
But maybe that’s exactly the beauty of the book. In the outset, it is just a beautiful narrative of a compelling story about the tenacity of the human spirit. And yet, no one who reads it would go away without feeling awed at the obvious hand of God calling the shots in the background. Everywhere you turn, you see divine providence directing every tiny detail of the story.
At the very start, God used Queen Vashti’s royal defiance to get Esther into the plot. Just a side note, if you’re fond of watching TV, you’ll realize that Persians held the first recorded franchise of Miss Universe, Persian Edition. After a long period of beauty treatments, Esther became queen.
It was all good and fabulous until few chapters later, Haman, the king’s right hand man, plotted to kill the entire Jewish race. The plot thickened. What started out as a beauty pageant escalated into potential racial annihilation. In an effort to save all the Jewish people all across the great Persian empire, Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, told the queen this rousing speech that would shame all Hollywood scriptwriters today:
“Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4.13-14
Still, no mention of God. If there ever was a time for the writer of this book to invoke the name of God, it was this pivotal scene. But it’s not included. Perhaps, deliberately left out.
But who could say that Mordecai’s uncovering of an assasination plot, Haman’s gallows, the king’s insomnia, Esther’s daring move to approach the king unbidden, were not all part of a grand play where God Himself is the director? I am inclined to think that the reason why God didn’t do a cameo appearance is because He was sitting in the director’s chair, calling the shots, making sure the story panned out perfectly into His masterplan?
I don’t know about you. Maybe you sometimes think that God doesn’t feel very near, like He is just beyond the reach of your prayers and He doesn’t show up in ways you expected. Maybe your prayers don’t pierce the roof of your house and your worship is more of a mechanical motion.
Do not despair. Our God is still in the director’s chair. He may not choose to make a cameo appearance in your story all the time but that doesn’t mean he’s left the plot to develop out of control.