Often when someone mentions the book of Esther the main point is often God’s providence. I find it ironic that God is not even mentioned in the book while thoroughly teaching us about God’s perfect sovereignty and timing.
Esther is the typical rags to riches story that takes place in Persia following the destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar. A young girl who parents are dead and who is so poor that she is forced to live with a cousin named Mordecai rises to the most prominent place in the known world. Esther must have been a beautiful woman who quickly charms the king because it only takes one meeting and she is chosen to replace the deposed queen. She rose from obscurity to prominence and power at just the right time. There can be no doubt that God is at work here.
As a young man, I always wondered why the book of Esther was even included in the bible. I couldn’t grasp how or what the book was intended to convey to us.
Over the years I have come to love this little book and the more time I spend reflecting on it, the more I can appreciate its lessons.
Esther helps us see that God has a plan for our life. Mordecai, in his typical insightful way, was correct when he said, “… who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Just like God put Joseph in the perfect place to save the people of Israel (Gen. 50:20) Esther was exactly where God needed her to be.
Esther also helps us see the power of responsibility. As Christians, we know that there is no such thing as coincidences. God’s providence brings us to the right place to help others, but we still must accept the responsibility to help. Esther could have chosen to remain silent, that was her right, but God would have found another to help and she would have lost out. God will use us if we are willing to be used.
Esther helps us see the need for courage. She was willing to risk her life but that is still a very scary thing. She literally said, “if I perish, I perish.” Wow! What a great lesson for all of us. There are numerous times in life when we are given opportunities to change the lives and eternities of others and every single time it will take courage.
Esther helps us see that God, in his sovereignty, uses everyone and everything for His divine purposes. A young girl is exalted to a place of power and influence for the express purpose of saving the Jews. No person is outside His influence and power. This is a lesson we would do well to learn. Especially since many greats were forced to learn it the hard way. Pharaoh, King Nebuchadnezzar, and many others learned that you cannot resist the God of heaven. Therefore, it makes sense to submit to His will and allow Him to have control of your life.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Esther teaches us that when we submit to God’s will for our life, life has a way of working out for our good (Rom. 8:28).