We are going to learn from the book of Esther that God is always at work in the lives of His people. The “coincidences” that define our lives are not simply products of cause and effect or of random chance. The coincidences that mark our lives are ordained by God and are intended for our good. It was only when looking back that Esther and Mordecai could clearly see the hand of God in what had happened to them. We often fail to sense God’s hidden guidance or protection as events in our lives unfold. But when we look back, we are able to see His hand more clearly, even in those times when such events or circumstances appeared as tragedies in our lives.

In looking back and studying those coincidences that changed the course of our lives, we discover that God has been right there all along. As believers, it behooves us to examine those incidents and realize that God was at work in each one; even those which brought us suffering, including what we thought were unanswered prayers. The doctrine of providence tells us that God is at work in the life of His people. Though His activity may be hidden, it is very real. In retrospect, we invariably discover that God is working for us right this very moment, right where we are. But, more importantly, we uncover the glorious confirmation of His unending love (Romans 8:38–39).

The Book of Esther is a dramatic account which can give us insight into God’s special and purposeful plan for our lives. The story gives strong messages about courage, divine timing and God’s supreme love. As scripture reveals, Esther is a Jewish woman living in Persia and reared by her cousin Mordecai. She was taken to the King of the Persian Empire to become a part of his harem—but because there was something special about Esther, he made her queen. Mordecai, however, didn’t tell the king about a major detail—Esther’s Jewish heritage.

I imagine Esther as a drop-dead gorgeous woman with flawless olive skin and a tantalizing personality. She charmed King Xerxes so much that after deposing his prior queen, he could have chosen any woman he wanted—but he chose Esther.

Of course there is a scoundrel in the story, too. Haman is a vengeful and egotistical advisor to the king. He hated Mordecai for refusing to bow down to him, so he plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them” (Esther 3:8 NIV). The king gave him authority to handle the fate of the Jewish people. In return, Haman announced a government-issued edict of genocide. Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people reminding her of her unique place in history and that silence is not an option. He  lets Esther know that even her outer beauty was for a reason and would not go to waste!

Esther knew, of course, that going to the king unsolicited could be her death sentence. Anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned could be executed. So what does she do? Before making a life or death decision, she calls for the Jewish people to join her on a 3-day fast. Following the fast she put on her best royal robes, approached the king, and told him of Haman's plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, Haman was hanged on the same gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai, and Esther received Haman’s estate.

 

What we learn from Esther’s story

God has a plan for our lives

Mordecai nailed it when he said, “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 the royal palace for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV). God loved the Jewish people. And, he didn’t create Esther’s beauty and finesse for her and her alone. Esther was placed in a royal position to assist in the delivery of God’s divine plan.

 We are given divine moments to alter circumstances

As believers, there are no such things as accidents or coincidences. God’s timing is providential. Esther’s divine moment of providence came by accepting her responsibility to go to the king. However, Mordecai was clear when he said to Esther that she could be the one who saved the people, or not. God will use you only if you’re ready—or he will find someone else.

We must stand with courage in all circumstances

“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16 NIV). Esther was willing to die to save her people. Sometimes we must stand in courage, even when it is not popular to do so, and risk it all.

Fasting and prayer brings clarity and hope for deliverance

God is not mentioned in the Book of Esther even once. But Esther was clear that in this particular situation, a heavenly response was needed for an earthly situation. Esther needed direction. When we need God’s grace, fasting and prayer opens the portals for spiritual growth, removes distractions and places us on a path to humility.

God demands obedience

Esther’s obedience saved God’s people from genocide. The reality is that Esther didn’t know what would happen when she approached the king. She acted in obedience and by doing so she saved a nation and received the best. We don’t get a pass on this one.

God uses everything and everybody for his divine purpose

No part of our lives is untouched. God is in control of every aspect, whether we want him to be or not, and there is nothing that is not subject to him (Hebrews 2:8 NIV). And, the best thing we can do for our lives is to search for and surrender to his will.

Comforting thought for the week

The psalmist tells us, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing” (Psalm 145:13–16). This is why we sometimes see good things happen to bad people and bad things to good people.

Our prayer for you this week

Our heavenly father we know that you have a divine purpose with our lives despite the circumstances we are in. we humbly pray that we will be able to walk in obedience to your word.  In Jesus name we do pray. Amen.