August 18, 2017
The book of Esther explains the origin of the Jewish holiday called “Purim.” The name is taken from the Persian word “Pur,” which meant “lot.” After Haman was promoted by King Xerxes (“Ahasuerus”), he was enraged by Mordecai the Jew’s failure to bow down at his passing. He determined to go before the king with a scheme to murder not only Mordecai, but the entire Jewish population within Persia. The casting of lots (“Pur”) was called for by Haman in order to determine the most fortuitous date for carrying out his scheme. Yet, even though the name of God is not named even once in the book of Esther, His hand is clearly seen in the result of the lot falling twelve months later. For this gave both Mordecai and Esther time to mediate for the Jewish people and ultimately save them from Haman’s plot. As the proverb is written, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:33). Even when the Lord is apparently absent, He is still working behind the scenes His purposes to unfold.
August 19, 2016
When the evil Haman convinced the king of Persia to issue a decree to annihilate the Jews, Queen Esther asked her fellow Jews to fast and pray for three days. One night during this time of prayer and fasting, the king couldn’t sleep. He asked his servants to bring his book of chronicles and memorable deeds and read them to him. Perhaps he hoped to fall asleep to their bedtime reading. However, the section they read reminded him of how Esther’s relative Mordecai had helped save him from an assassination conspiracy. This led to him honoring Mordecai and eventually, hanging Haman. What a coincidence that the king’s insomnia led to reading the exact report concerning Mordecai. This little book of Esther, which is notable in that it never mentions God, is filled with such “coincidences.” While God’s people fasted and prayed, He worked behind the scenes to move the king’s hand.
August 19, 2015
The orphaned Esther won King Xerxes’ beauty contest and was crowned as his queen. She went from being a Jewish orphan to a Persian queen. Yet, her cousin, Mordecai, who had raised her as his own when her parents died, asked her not to forget her people and to consider God’s purpose for her new position. When God elevates us to a new job or position, we should always consider how we might use it as a platform for doing His will. “Who knows?” Perhaps God put you just where you are today, so that you might tell someone about the One who can rescue them from sin and death.
August 18, 2014
The book of Esther is unique not in what it names, but in what it doesn’t. For the name of God is not mentioned. Yet clearly, God can be seen between the lines of every chapter. When God’s people find themselves under persecution, they often feel that God has abandoned them. They don’t see that He is at work behind the scenes. Esther, whose Hebrew name was Hadassah, became the queen of Persia, not by accident, but by God’s purpose in order to save the Jews from genocide. This little orphaned Jewish girl was adopted by her cousin Mordecai and chosen by King Xerxes to be Queen. She was the winner of the king’s Miss Universe contest. Her Persian name, Esther, means “star” (the word “aster” as in “asteroid,” is derived from the same root.). She was indeed a “star” in Persia and in the history of the Jews, as God used her to influence Xerxes decision to save them. Why has God given you your position of influence? Perhaps it’s for more than you think.
August 20, 2012
Noted for the absence of God’s name in its text, the book of Esther describes the origin of the Hebrew holiday of Purim. While God is not mentioned specifically, His help and favor are implied between the lines. I wonder how often God is at work in our lives without getting credit?
August 19, 2011
Esther won a beauty contest to become queen of Persia. God used her position to save her people. Why have you come into your position? Is it for your edification or is it a platform from which to announce the coming King?