The only other book in the bible to not explicitly mention the name of God than Songs of Songs is the book of Esther. Yet, as some scholars would say about it, “Although God’s face is seen nowhere, His fingerprints appear everywhere.”
The story of Esther comes across as a classic fairy tale, with a poor slave girl turning the queen of a vast empire overnight. But if truth be told, Esther’s was a case of complete hopelessness.
A fourth generation slave girl (Esther 2:5,6) who grew up in a foreign land with no father or mother, brought up by a cousin. A slave mentality and timidity had been beaten into her systems over the years of abuse at the hands of her foreign masters.
At what is considered the climax of her life, she is “gathered” to be part of what seems like a beauty pageant but which is chillingly otherwise, preparing herself to be used by the King, who had already been ‘entertained’ by scores of other aspirants, for a one night’s stand. (Esther 2:14). I can’t bear to think how helpless Esther might have been at this time. Taken against her will to be a part of a contest, with her modesty at stake to even qualify, and if she ever did win, to be a queen vested with no powers in specific but to be sashayed down the ramp by the king for his courtiers and guests to be ogled at. For her, it might have looked like God never existed!
She was young and unexposed, timid and in fear of maintaining the secrecy of her background, discouraged that things had never gone right in life for her. She was one who dared not have hopes and ambitions! Her entire life seemed like a big sinister story, being played out at the hands of others.
Do these things ring a bell within you?
As the story moves on, she was indeed crowned King Xerxes’ queen. It may seem like the perfect happy ending, but here’s something interesting. Even after being in the pinnacle of success, after being crowned the queen, for over five long years, Esther simply existed not knowing why she was there or for what purpose. As an ex-slave who is now a queen, what may be expected of her is to desire for work towards the restoration of her people, her kind. But five years were spent sitting idle, brooding over the purposelessness of life.
Probably she might have been mumbling, “Wouldn’t it have been better being Naaman’s little maid than the wife to a pagan king? Look how God used her.” What she had probably never realised was that there never was a Jewish woman in the history of mankind of her stature in a pagan country. In fact, it was His divine favour on her life that the slave girl was now a queen! (Esther 2:9b, 2:15b)
It took five whole years after she became queen for the purpose of God to materialise in her life. That time when a decree was passed ordering the massacre of all the Jews in the kingdom, Mordecai, her cousin, approaches the only source of authority he knew, Queen Esther herself and tells him of the situation.
Unassertive and fearful as she was, being not confident of herself or the position in which God had placed her in, Esther discourages Mordecai from approaching her (Esther 4:11). However, through all the chaos and helplessness God’s will is revealed to her in Mordecai’s reply (Esther 4:14) “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
That, my friends, was the point in her life where she had a B.C and A.D! That was the time line that divided her before from her after. It was such a profound statement that everything seemed to fall in place for her. All the years of pointlessness, harshness, misuse and misery suddenly seemed to make so much sense to her! It was for this one moment that she was here for. She found new meaning to her life! It was like a wisp of fresh air to her tired and discouraged soul! God had Esther on His mind right from the time the Jews were taken captive four generations back!! Just that one thought was enough for Esther to take it up from there, and plead the cause of her people at the sake of her life, like a martyr. There was supernatural courage, divine mandate, wisdom, purpose and hope that she found all at once. And the rest as they say is history!
What is the past that you regret? What hopelessness are you going through? Would you believe that you are where you are for such a time as this, for such a purpose as this? God’s favour upon Esther’s life was tremendous, not for one moment had He forgotten her; Nor will He you.
In fact, the plot to wipe out the Jews became a necessary part of God’s plan in order to revert it and wipe out Haman’s clan who were enemies of the Jews (Esther 3:6, 9:2-6). God is changing every devious plan and trick of the evil one into good for His glory.
Let me leave you with a verse to ponder:
2 Corinthians 1:10
[For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself]
What are the most fearful circumstances of your life? Would you trust God during your worst moment of frustration and hopelessness? What would you do to put your hope in Christ during this season of life?