In the book of Esther there is no mention of God. Which seems odd, because magical things happened, but God isn’t given credit for any of them. He doesn’t seek any credit either, which is a bit disturbing because Esther was living in a mad, mad world, and yet God didn’t seem to be involved – or want to be seen to be involved – at all.
So is that the same for us today? Because here we are in a mad, mad world too, and God doesn’t seem to be involved in our world either. At least not visibly or obviously. So why would he do that? Why appear to be absent in a world where evil is rampant, and we need his intervention more than ever?
But look what happened to Esther. She’s a Jewish lass, growing up in a non-Jewish Persian culture, but amazingly ends up becoming its queen. Her Persian king hubby, who knows nothing of her Jewish background, appoints Haman, an anti-Semitic racist, to be his personal political advisor, a position so high and mighty that all must kneel in his presence. But Esther’s uncle Mordecai refuses to kneel, which blows a fuse in Haman’s touchy ego, and since he knew Mordecai was a Jew he manages to persuade the king to issue a death sentence on all Jews.
So where was God in all this? Well, keep reading, because amazing things happen. Mordecai appeals to Esther to go to the king to plead for their people, so she plans a banquet for the king and Haman to make her request. But the night before the banquet the king can’t sleep, so he has the records of his reign brought to him, in which he discovers that Mordecai had saved his life by exposing an assassination plot.
And who could have guessed what happened next? The king orders Haman to publicly honour Mordecai by personally parading him through the city streets, with Mordecai dressed in the king’s royal robes.
At the banquet the following day, Esther then makes her request to the king to spare her people because, she says, some awful person had been plotting to annihilate them. The king furiously demands who the blaggard is, and it’s Haman of course, and, again – who could have guessed it – Haman ends up being hanged on the gallows he’d had built for Mordecai.
Every step of her story is amazing, from becoming a Persian queen as a non-royal Jewess, to revealing to her hubby king that actually she was Jewish, to being allowed by the king to make a plea for her fellow Jews, to Mordecai being honoured because the king couldn’t sleep, to Haman and his evil cunning being exposed, and all the enemies of the Jews being hunted down and killed by the king’s decree.
Could the same thing happen in our world, therefore, when things are looking desperate for us too, as the lunacy virus takes hold in the minds of those infatuated with power, wealth, and self-advancement?
Well, how much more obvious could it be that God was present in Esther’s mad, mad world? All those amazing coincidences leading up to a deadly enemy being exposed. It took a while for the evil to be exposed and destroyed, but it happened, so please, God, give me the eyes to see you being just as present in our world, exposing evil and destroying it, and to keep on trusting if at present it doesn’t seem like you’re involved at all.