Who cares about a Persian king who died twenty-five hundred years ago? The story of Esther is ancient and remote. It’s about a dead dynasty, a distant land, and a long-forgotten era. We wouldn’t be the first to ponder the insignificance of a book in which a Persian king is specifically named thirty-one times, but God’s name is never whispered.
And yet, every word “is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). “The word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). That includes the Book of Esther.
Let’s learn three lessons.
Esther teaches us the truth of God’s undeniable, incontestable, irresistible providence. God is sovereign! He has a plan, and nothing can stop Him. “Our God is in heaven and does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).
Haman concocted an evil plan to exterminate the Jews, but “the Lord does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth”(Psalm 135:6). “Kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules the nations” (Psalm 22:28). “He is the Lord our God; his judgments govern the whole earth” (Psalm 105:7). “God reigns over the nations” (Psalm 47:8). “I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). “The Lord of Armies himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way?” (Isaiah 14:27). “He will do whatever he wants”
Personalize this truth! Listen up! Can you hear the King of kings today? “Can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay? … Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand!” (Jeremiah 18:6). Let’s submit our lives to the Potter!
There’s a second lesson. God uses unlikely instruments. He always has. He used Moses, a runaway murderer. He used Gideon, the least of the least. He used Peter, a simple fisherman. Who could have guessed that a young Jewish girl named Esther, an orphan, would become the queen of the Persian empire, and that God would use her to change the course of history?
God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. When Samuel prepared to anoint a new king, “the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lordsees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart’ ” (1 Samuel 16:7). Can God use you? Or me? Yep!
One last lesson… Don’t lose hope! The royal edict said: “destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jewish people—young and old, women and children—and plunder their possessions” (Esther 3:13) but God says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6, NKJV). Don’t lose hope!