Seeing Grace in Esther for the First Time
I’ve never really enjoyed the book of Esther. I’m not exactly sure why that is. Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard any teaching on it outside of children’s Sunday School. My daughter suggested that it’s because of the Veggie Tale version. (Warning to all parents: Apparently the tickle torture in it creates lifelong nightmares in some children) The bottom line is that I’ve just never “gotten” it…until this week.
I was reading it, because I had to. It came up in my yearly Bible reading plan so I decided to once again read through it. But this time the Spirit opened my eyes to understand it, and now its message is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Here’s 3 reasons why:
1. God’s Not Mentioned In it at All, but His Handiwork is Everywhere
He subtly presents himself as the God who is meticulously in charge of every event, working it for the good of his people. Mordecai is right when he suggests to Esther that God had given her the position of queen in order to rescue his people from annihilation. Like an elaborate game of Mousetrap, every single detail had to happen at just the right moment. Just like our lives, some moments required the actions of Esther, but most of it was out of her control. She just asked people to pray, obeyed the Lord, and he took care of everything. What a weight it lifts to know that our Father works this way and to simply trust him!
2. God’s Grace is Unbelievably Extravagant
At the end of the book, the Jewish people are filled with joy and gladness. They triumph over their enemies and are put in positions of honor and glory. God lavishes gift upon gift on them. And what’s really incredible about it is that this all happens when they’re in exile. And why were they in exile? Because for hundreds of years they had rebelled against God and disobeyed his Law. His was disciplining them, but even in that process, he was protecting them and taking away their reproach.
It’s because of this that the end of our story is also one of joy and gladness, honor and glory.
3. Our Father Simply Will Not Give Up On His People – Ever!
He did not give up on the Jewish people in the days of Esther, and he does not give up on us. So much so that he gave up his Son for us. It’s because of this that the end of our story is also one of joy and gladness, honor and glory.
So I don’t know what’s been wrong with me, but I am so glad that I can finally see the beautiful grace resounding in the book of Esther. As I finally understand the message, I can think of many times when, in the midst of suffering, the Lord has given me good things beyond what I had asked. In those moments, I may still be in the midst of struggle, but he brings joy and gladness anyway. Best of all, he reminds us that he is acting. The story of Esther means that his handiwork is bringing extravagant grace to you, even if you do not see it now. Keep your eyes on him and wait for him to work; he is committed to you! Because of Jesus, every story for the people of God has an ultimate happy ending.