God Gives Real Hope
The dictionary defines “despair” as a loss of hope – a mindset that gives up any hope of something better happening in a circumstance, season, or life. How many times have you been there? Are you there now? Have you given up on something important to you? Do you think God is done with you in that matter?
You should read about THIS woman – Esther. Here is a woman whose story is so powerful, she has a book of the Bible named after her! That’s rare enough, but her story is one of the most unique stories in the history of storytelling. Esther is just ten chapters long and it’s better than any romance or adventure novel you’ll ever read. It’s a great investment of your time to read – and understand the HOPELESSNESS, the DOUBT and CONFUSION this woman when through – and then the incredible VICTORY and RESCUE that took place because of her.
If you’ve had all the odds stacked against you before, you’ll be familiar with Esther’s situation.
The story has a wicked king, a pagan, sexualized culture, repressive patriarch, murderous racism, and drunken revelry. And that’s just the first chapter. When the king decides he needs a new wife, he issues an edict for a nationwide search for a beautiful young virgin who will go through a process of preparation and even competition to eventually get a night with the king – which in itself is repressive and enslaving. Esther goes through all this, and the end result is that this young Jewish girl who is living in exile in Babylon becomes the queen. We have so many questions. But there’s more.
There’s a villain in the story – Haman – who has a diabolical plan to kill all of the Jews (Esther’s people) and he has the clout to get it done. Esther seems to be the only person who can intervene. Now, on top of all these hopeless indicators – this is the one book of the Bible where God’s name is not mentioned. God does not speak in any recordable way in the book of Esther. We see and hear of no prophets, messengers, or angels. He is there and He seems to be silent for the moment. What a hopeless season!
All this sets the scene for an incredible series of conversations and events that lead to the rescue of Esther and her people.
You’ve heard all the famous words of this book:
“The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with Him…”
“If you keep silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
"Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me…and then I will go in to the king, which is not accordance to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”
These are climactic words that describe hard moments of decision where Esther places her life in the hands of an invisible God who seems to let His character and history do all the talking. Esther is walking in HOPE while in a HOPELESS situation, and she shows us all how to do it.
The great preacher, Ron Dunn, said, “Good and evil run on parallel tracks, and they arrive at about the same time.” I agree. And Esther sees the evil tracks before the good track becomes apparent. But that’s what living by faith is all about. It’s what we have to do when we feel hopeless.
The most FUN part of the book of Esther follows her great moment of trusting God. You MUST read this part for yourselves. After reading it, you must admit to a series of incredible coincidences, confirmed by history, or you must choose to believe that God does work silently and powerfully to weave together everything for the good of those who love Him.
It's all so fascinating to me because when I look back at my life, I see some similar things happening. Maybe I’ve just seen God do too many things that align perfectly in multiple ways in answer to prayer to believe that ANYTHING is coincidental. I’m not naïve to enough to think that great things happen without God. This story ends SO WELL, in spite of its hopeless setting.
I believe God is a God of hope -not despair. If you are alive, He’s not done with YOU or with YOUR STORY.
Esther’s message is unmistakable! God is there, even when you cannot see Him and even though you may not hear from Him. He doesn’t miss a detail. He doesn’t miss a moment.
His eye is on the sparrow – I know He watches you. He’s not done with you
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Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.