Behind The Scenes

Esther 4:1
Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? (v.14).

One of the things I appreciate about the Old
Testament book of Esther is that God’s name
isn’t mentioned in it—not even once. Don’t get
me wrong. I’m not losing my belief in God! For me, the
book’s omission of God’s name is a great reminder that
even though He might appear to be absent, God is still
present, quietly working behind the scenes.

The book of Esther reads like a novel. It centers on the
dramatic story of a beautiful young Jewish girl who rises
from obscurity to become queen of the Persian Empire
(Esther 2). Esther, who concealed her family ancestry,
ends up using her royal position to turn the tables on a
plot to annihilate her people.

Haman, one of King Xerxes’ top royal officials,
had a strong dislike for the Jewish people. He was
furious because Mordecai, another royal official who
happened to be Jewish, refused to pay him honor
(3:1-6). Appealing to Xerxes’ pride, Haman tricked the
king into signing an order that called for the execution
of all Jews (vv.8-13). But his plan backfired. Esther’s
gutsy intervention (ch.4–5) and the king’s sleeplessness
(ch.6), led to Haman having to lead a royal parade to
honor Mordecai. A short time later, a humiliated Haman
was hanged on the very gallows he had built for the
execution of Mordecai (ch.6–7).

These weren’t random events. King Xerxes didn’t just
happen to have a bout of insomnia. He didn’t just happen to discover that
Mordecai was never rewarded for exposing an assassination plot (2:21-23, 6:1-
3). Events like these came about because God was working through them.
God doesn’t always work through obvious means like the 10 plagues or the
parting of the Red Sea. But whether we see or feel it, He’s always involved and
at work in our lives. —Jeff Olson

The Jewish feast of
Purim is an annual
event to commemorate
God’s deliverance from
Haman’s plot. Read
Colossians 2:16 to
see the ultimate purpose
of Jewish feasts and

How has God worked
“behind the scenes” in
your life recently? How
are you inspired by the
story of Esther?