With life’s many complexities, we often forget the simple things. Stopping to hear the whistle of the bird or watching the ripples in a pond are good things that God gave us. Take time today to notice the small things.
On Sunday we began a journey through the book of Esther, entitled, “The Unseen Hand.” It is named as such because it is the only book in the Bible that has no mention of God’s name. Without careful examination we will think that God’s people had been left destitute and alone in their struggles…that is, if we miss the simple things.
My theology demands that God is always present; He said so. Hebrews 13:5 says, Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have, for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. He is imminent in the lives of His people, meaning that He is always present. The angel said to Joseph, They shall call his name, Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23). Before your trial begins, understand that God is there.
There are few hints in the book of Esther concerning the historical context of the book. The biggest is in chapter two, where God’s Word says, Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite: who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away (2:5-6). These verses tell us that Mordecai had been taken out of Judah in 597 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar took Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and 10,000 choice servants back to Babylon. As the Babylonian empire fell apart, many of these Jews were carried away into Persian control.
What, then, is the first thing we know from the book of Esther that leads us to see the unseen hand at work in the book of Esther? The first thing we saw on Sunday is the people of God:
- 2:20- Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
- 3:6, 8- And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. 9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed:
- 4:7- And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them
- 7:4- For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.
- 8:1, 3- On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. 2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
It was to Abraham the promise came of a mighty nation. That nation would be numbered as the sand of the sea and the stars of the Heaven. It was through that people that God would be made known to all the nations of the world, and it was eventually through the Jews that God would send His Son to be the Saviour of the world! We know that God is in the book of Esther simply because His people are there. Don’t miss the simple things! Where are God’s people is God Himself. It matters not what you are going through today- God is there with you! You may not see what He is doing and do not seem to know when, but God will come through and His glory will be seen!
If God’s children survived the Red Sea, were fed in the wilderness, their shoes surviving for those 40 years, defeated the city of Jericho, vanquished the Philistines with one smooth stone, three walked through the fire and were not burned, one slept a night with hungry lions, and Judah came home after 70 years in exile, He will see us through. Tis’ grace hath brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home!
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men with you there?” Paton knew no men were present–but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. That is the unseen hand!