Scripture Reading: Esther 1:1-22, Psalm 32:7, Daniel 6:8, Daniel 6:13-18
There’s an old saying that goes, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” Perhaps you’ve heard it? But God’s work in the lives of His people is far more magnificent than that.
Even better than closing doors and opening windows, what we find in the book of Esther is the active, invisible, and preemptive hand of God at work in the most unexpected places.
Today’s reading sets the stage by casting an ominous shadow over a seemingly happy time of feasting and abundance. The king throws a party meant to last for 180 days, but when he summons his queen so that he might show off her beauty to his guests, she refuses to come to him. This decision has repercussions that will reverberate throughout the kingdom, kicking the rest of the story into motion.
Readers respond in different ways to this conflict between the king and queen. How are we to view her defiance? How should we measure his reaction? But whether we interpret Vashti’s actions as brave or bad, the larger truth of this book remains unchanged. This story is about God and His providential care for His chosen people in exile. In the book of Esther and throughout all of Scripture, God is the main character of every story.
Though His name is not directly mentioned, God’s presence is evident in this Old Testament book. And His sovereignty and goodness are not dependent upon our reactions and interpretations. When faced with an unexpected turn of events or unwelcome challenge, most of us turn to scheming and problem solving, trying to figure things out and then “fix” them as we see fit. But the book of Esther shows us that God does not go around simply reacting to whatever we throw at Him. He doesn’t work that way. No, He acts first. His rescue plans are already in place—even before danger comes our way.
God’s involvement in our lives is so much better than closed doors and open windows. In the story of Esther, and in our story of salvation, God designs our deliverance even before man begins to devise our destruction.
The book of Esther is short, rich, and ultimately points to Christ overcoming death by giving His own life—a ransom for us all. As you read, look for the active, invisible, preemptive hand of God. Consider the ways God has designed your own deliverance, and imagine the invisible ways He is caring for you even now.
God is good. And He is at work.