When actions speak louder than words.

When actions speak louder than words.
Esther 1
“And let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she.”

The event that happens in the world and in our lives often seem to be governed by the winds of luck While we think we can manage our lives and the circumstances we face, daily we are confronted with the reality that we have little control over the events that shape our lives. An insignificant decision we make today may have a significant impact on what happens tomorrow. The arbitrary acts of others can change the course of our lives in the future. It is little wonder that French biochemist Jacques Monod, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on genetics wrote: “Pure chance, absolutely free and blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: This central concept of modern biology is no longer one among other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact.” Success seems to come more from “being in the right place at the right time” rather than our efforts and abilities.

The book of Esther is unique in the Bible in that it is the only book that does not mention God by name. There is no “prophetic word from God.” No prophet gives the participants in the story clarity and direction from the word of God. Even the narrator surprisingly does not mention any of the events being orchestrated by God. The only hint of God is Esther’s request that the Jews fast for three days on her behalf. While this implies that the people would also be seeking God’s intervention, the narrator still does not mention God by name.  

The story begins with the fickle whims of an offended King. When Queen Vashti refuses to obey Ahasuerus’ (also referred to as Xerxes) request for her to come and display her beauty to his guests, he responds by disposing her of her position. Now without a queen, the King decrees that a search be made throughout the land to find the most beautiful woman in the land that would replace Vashti’s position as his “trophy wife.” An arbitrary decision made during a drunken feast, would not only shape the life of a young Jewish maiden but the whole nation of Israel and Assyria.  

Yet the refusal of the narrator to describe the events without mentioning God directly only serves to shout louder that these events are not the outworking of blind chance, but the sovereign hand of God. The silence of the narrator is a deafening roar that God is the unseen hand governing the affairs of man. Life is not the result of “pure chance, absolutely free and blind,” but the outworking of God’s plan for both a young woman and the nation of Israel. It would result in not only Esther saving Jews from antihalation, but the elevation of another Jew, Mordecai, to one of the highest positions of influence in the Assyrian empire. Through his influence, the Jews would maintain a favorable position with the king, which would be critical as the Jews rebuilt Jerusalem after the exile. In a time when the Jewish nation was still in a precarious position, having a high official who would speak for their welfare was vital. The product of blind change—hardly. Throughout the whole story, the events will shout God’s sovereign control of the events.

What is true of Esther, is equally true of every person who surrenders to God. When we entrust our lives to him, he becomes the unseen hand that guides and directs every event in our life to direct the circumstances of life to accomplish his divine purpose. Because he is infinitely good and wise, his plan is perfect. When we realize he is in control, we can sit back, relax, and rest knowing that his unseen hand is at work. 


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