Walking in the story of Esther we find that although God is not mentioned, God is there. Again and again -- in a king’s sleepless night, in the words of Haman’s family rightly predicting his downfall, in a poor girl-become-queen’s decisions, in stifling arrogance, in the defeat of enemies -- God worked, He moved, in ways unseen and yet visible.
Sometimes in our daily lives we can be unclear on God’s action. Prayers that remain unanswered as we have been praying them, situations unchanged, hurts unabated. This book is one place we can see again on display this very basic fact that God keeps His promises even when we cannot see God at work. In this book God is fighting on behalf of a people behind the scenes in ways that leave us staggered and amazed. This is how God works, oftentimes, behind the scenes. Sometimes we don’t “see” God at work, yet that doesn’t mean God is absent. It might just mean we are looking in the wrong direction.
I have seen this in healing prayer so many times. There comes a time when I am walking someone back into a memory when I will ask them to “look for Jesus in the memory,” and I always have to remind them, “you might need to turn around.” I’ll never forget one woman who gasped when she beheld Jesus behind her. All through the years she had believed God had abandoned her in her pain, in that moment, when her dad was there yelling at her, but there was Jesus behind her. She gasped, tears came to her eyes, and we walked through then what Jesus was doing, and what he spoke to her heart in that moment which forever changed that memory and altered her future. Seeing Jesus was there made all the difference.
In your life, friend, no matter what you might be encountering, I can promise that Jesus is there, at work, wooing you to Himself even in the midst of circumstances that remain unaltered. Don’t stare at circumstances, or at the pain that is unrelenting, instead gaze at Jesus, look to the One who has not left you alone in that place, that valley. He is with you. I know it.
This book makes this testimony as well. Although God’s name is never mentioned, not once, God is at work. He is fulfilling the prophecy given to the Prophet Zechariah (2:8) in which God promised not to leave unpunished anyone who wrongs the Jewish people, whom are the “apple of His eye.”
This book declares to us all “God keeps his promises” and this can shout to you and to me, and God will keep those promises in your life and mine as well. This is not the promise that everything will be easy in life, nope. Jesus never said that. Indeed, Jesus promised that “in this world you will have trouble,” using the word for tribulation or persecution! But Jesus promised never to leave or forsake you and me. He promised to be with us always, even to the end of the age. He promised that he would use everything, even the hardest things for the good of you and me both. He promised that these various things would be worked together for the good of those called according to his purpose.
When tough things are happening-- don’t forget that God keeps his promises, in his time, and in your life. Turn toward Him, not away from Him, and look, look, look for his good purposes to be unveiled.