Even when we don’t see him
The book of Esther comes to us right where we are and shows us that as beautiful and alluring as the things of this world might seem, Jesus is even better.
“If God is real, why doesn’t He make Himself more clear? If God wants us to believe in Him, why doesn’t He make it easier for us to see Him? Why doesn’t God do more things like He did in the Bible?”
If you have ever felt this way, welcome to the book of Esther. In this book, all of God’s promises are in peril, and His people find themselves on the brink of extinction. If ever there were a time for God to show Himself, this would seem to be it. And yet in the entire book of Esther:
- God’s name isn’t even mentioned once.
- There are no visions or directions from God about how to avoid disaster.
- There are no miracles, and God never supernaturally shows up to rescue His people from their enemies.
The book of Esther reads like the story of our lives. God’s people are living as foreigners in Persia, a pagan country that doesn’t share their beliefs about God. They are surrounded by a society that judges everything by appearances, and is constantly trying to seduce them into seeking satisfaction in the temporary pleasures of this world. As the culture grows hostile towards God’s people, they find themselves in grave danger. All the while, the God of the Bible seems strangely silent.
If God’s people are going to avoid destruction and continue to follow God, it’s not going to be because He supernaturally shows up. To remain faithful, they will have to look back in history, and trust that the God Who had delivered His people in the past will deliver them again. They will have to trust that even though they don’t see God, He is there. Even though they have no idea what He is doing, they can know for certain that He will not fail to keep any of His promises.
Now this is a book that we can relate to, isn’t it? You and I find ourselves with many of the same questions, and living in a culture that doesn’t believe what we believe.
It’s hard to resist. The things our culture promises seem so tangible, while the promises of God often seem so far away. In difficult circumstances we wish that God would simply show Himself, that He would prove that He is real, that He would do something like He did in the Bible so that we might find it easier to believe in Him.
But He doesn’t usually do that. Instead, just as He did in Esther’s day, our God calls us to remember all that He has done for us already. He calls us to remember that his timing is perfect, to remember everything that He accomplished for us through the life and death and resurrection of His son, Jesus—and, based on that, to trust Him. Our God is calling us to believe that even when we don’t see Him, the God Who did not spare His only Son is at work, and He will keep all His promises.
The book of Esther comes to us right where we are and calls us not to give in to the seductive voices of our culture. It calls us to trust that our God is at work even when we don’t see Him. It shows us that as beautiful and alluring as the things of this world might seem, Jesus is even better.