All I can think about is Veggie Tales. Their version of Esther, I mean. The Girl who Became Queen. It’s stuck in my head. My kids loved it. So did I. I like those clever veggies!
At some point, we’ve got to let go of the cartoon character. Esther. What do you remember about Esther? A beauty queen in a beauty pageant to outdo all beauty contests! The crown to be won was literal and the losers, well it was back to the harem, not freedom. Some serious themes in this small book. Common knowledge right? As my bible study group came to a close last week after studying Beth Moore’s Esther, we were discussing what had personally stood out to us.
One of the main themes Beth talks about was how God seemed silent, invisible but His presence was very evident. He wasn’t sitting idly by, watching the show. The more I studied, the clearer this became for me. I was struggling with a similar problem. God’s been kinda silent lately. I know part of the problem is me. I got caught up in my busyness. It was hard to find time to pray and be quiet. It meant stopping.
Esther was challenging me, precisely because God isn’t named, not once in the book. It wasn’t like studying the life of Jesus or other figures who had a dynamic relationship with God. You had to look for Him. At first I felt uninspired. I was done with chasing. I was too tired. I felt like I was doing everything wrong and so I stopped. Why bother?
The thing is, He’s there. On those pages. Beth (I’m on a first name basis because I feel like I know her!) points this out again and again. You don’t even have to look hard. God didn’t intend to let His people be destroyed. They had assimilated into Persian culture. They had forgotten Him. But God did not forget them. God saw a people who didn’t see Him. He saved a people who weren’t even looking for Him. Because He still loved them. They were unfaithful. He was not. God doesn’t lose us. Even when we can’t see Him or don’t look for Him. He is there.
Once the edict went out that all the Jews were to be slaughtered and Mordecai urged Esther to do something, there was a turning back to God by his people. They returned to the Home they knew. The covenant they broke. God did not abandon them. He waited for them. He did not leave them to their destruction. He saved them. He poured out His blessing on them although they did not deserve it.
It reminded me about the prodigal son. How the father let his beloved son go off and do his own thing. Let him reject his home. What he knew. How the father did not abandon his son but waited for him by the end of the lane. Hoping to catch a glimpse of him returning to those who loved him. How the father did not give the boy what he deserved but saved him. Took him back not as a slave but as a son. Rejoiced over him and poured abundant blessings on him.
It made me think about how God treated the Jews like the prodigal in the book of Esther. Though he seemed silent, He wasn’t. He was working in their lives, wooing them home. He works like that in our lives too. We are like the prodigal walking away from our true home, into our busyness, our distractions, our problems our stuff. We don’t have time for God. He might be silent because we aren’t listening but He never stops working in our lives, wooing us back to him.
For those who have prodigals who haven’t’ just been distracted but like the Jews have left home, faith, and assimilated into the world, there is hope in the story of Esther. Although the wait seems long and God seems so silent on that front, he hasn’t lost sight of our prodigals. He’s working. He loves them too. He wants them home.
It was this revelation about God seeing us even when we don’t see him that turned “meh” into obedience. A couple of sermons about the same thing brought me back to prayer. A “why bother” mentality isn’t going to change things. Prayer can, even if it’s just me that is transformed.
Mostly love wins the day. God loves us and sees us even when we don’t see Him. I’m reminded He’s trustworthy. He’s present. Even when I don’t feel it. Can’t see Him.
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16;9 New American Standard version