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January 25, 2011 – Esther 2

Every once in a while it seems like the Bible likes to throw in a little bit of humor. Maybe it’s just the reader (*ahem*), but it’s hard to believe that today’s chapter doesn’t have a little tongue-in-cheek going on. You doubt? Very well, let’s look.

After the queen has been banished, and after an intervening war with Greece, King Xerxes decides that maybe he was hasty in dismissing the queen. So his wisemen get together and try to come up with a plan to take the king’s mind off the whipping he just got from those pesky Greeks.

A ROSE FOR YOU, A ROSE FOR YOU, A ROSE FOR YOU

They decide that the best course of action is the Persian version of The Bachelor. All the lovely young ladies (in all of Persia, mind you) will be brought to the king, and he can pick whoever he wants. The Bible records his reaction thusly:

“The king liked these suggestions, and followed them.”
What a shock. Let us re-enact this scene.

  • Wise Man 1: We need something to cheer the king up after he got whomped by the Greeks
  • Wise Man 2: Let’s find the hottest girls in the country, the king can date them all, and pick whoever he likes best
  • King: After careful deliberation, I have decided that you are wise indeed.

Now we can shake our head at this obviously self-serving disgustingness, but we find ourselves with another problem. If we believe that the Bible is inspired of God, and we do, we must ask ourselves what this little episode is doing the Bible. What spiritual application are we supposed to glean from this old lecher?

YES, I SEE THAT HAND

Here’s our take: God is in control.

That seems pretty simple, but it’s so easy to forget. How can we see God at work when the powerful use their authority to gratify their own base desires? How is God in control when innocents are taken from their homes? Sometimes God hand is hard to spot in the machinations of the world.

Yet, the message of Esther is that even when God is not clearly visible, He is always there. Was it just coincidence that of all the girls in the whole country, the one the king picks happens to be Jewish? And with a determined streak in her? Is it coincidence that her cousin happens to overhear a conspiracy? God worked through it all. Even through a king’s beauty pageant.

Our challenge for today is to trust God. Our circumstances may seem miles away from what we know is God’s ideal, but He is still working in the world. We may not see it right away, but God’s Will will be done, despite the unfairness around us.

Do you trust Him today?

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