Blogger’s Note: Having ended the Elijah study, Chuck Swindoll, in his book Great Days with the Great Lives takes up a study of Esther; and I’m praying that my pursuing God through the story of this great female of the faith will touch me and move me to know God even more.
2009 – Day 183.July 3 – God At Work
Passage of the Day: Esther 1: 1 – 22 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Okay, The Book of Esther opens; and there are two very pertinent characters which go unmentioned in Chapter 1 … Esther and God. In fact “Jehovah God” is not mentioned by Name or by character reference in the entire Book of Esther. But in this first chapter we see the presence of the living God, Who is sovereign over all things, working behind the historical scenes to shape the events which would later forge themselves into the life of Esther.
Enter the affairs of the Persian empire (or of the Medes and Persians) during the earthly reign of King Xerxes, the 1st, who is referred to as King “Ahasuerus” in some translations, the Hebrew name for Xerxes. And unbeknownst to Esther, our heroine of this Book, though she goes unmentioned in Chapter 1, God is setting events into motion which would change her life, and the life of God’s people, who had remained in Babylon (i.e., now Persia) after the remnant had returned to Jerusalem (in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah) .
This is the underlying, unmentioned, theme of this Book of the Bible, … that God, even though unmentioned anywhere in this biblical account, is always working His plan in the affairs of man. Today we see events unfolding which may appear to many as if God is absent. This was also the case in the days of Habakkuk, where this Prophet of God could not see God at work as God’s people became ever more disobedient; but then, as you move through that book of the Bible, God gives Habakkuk a front row seat to view the events of history unfold in the will of God to shape the life and times of God’s people.
Today we see events unfolding and history shaping the affairs of mankind, which might seem to be totally defiant of God’s will or His way; but if we believe passages like Deuteronomy 31: 6 or Romans 8: 28, God will never leave, nor forsake, His children; and all things in the events of man work together for the good of those who are “The Called” according to God’s purpose. As we read in Romans 1: 18 – 32 [linked here], God may seem to have gone into hiding; but He’s always there, shaping or molding the events of history toward HIS ultimate end. And in the case of the life of young Esther, who lives in the background of Chapter 1, God is shaping events, and even having earthly laws drafted, which will change our heroine’s life forever.
And as we’re going to see, by studying the life of Esther, how our faith must be in God, Whom, though seemingly absent, is always present in our lives; and as it says in Deuteronomy 31: 8, He is even going on ahead of us to shape our future to conform to His will. And we’re going to see that truth unfold in the life and times of the future Queen of Persia, a woman of God, who was the right person for the right time in God’s scheme of history.
My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that You are going ahead of me in my life to reshape me into the perfected image of Your Son, my Savior. Amen