Esther Reflections

How often do we talk about God working in our lives?

This week as I am reading through the Bible, I read the book of Esther. Esther is a very controversy book in scripture. There has been debate over the centuries about whether or not it ought to be scripture. One of the main reasons for the debate is the fact that God is not mentioned in the book.

Of course most people will argue that God is certainly at work throughout this story. For people of faith, it is more than mere luck or fate that Esther is chosen out of all the young women in the kingdom to be the new queen. Not only is she a Jewish girl, she has been raised by Mordecai, her cousin, who is apparently very well connected. Despite being in exile, Mordecai remains faithful to God but loyal to the king of Persia, too. He also has intimate knowledge of political and social movements around him. So as we read this story through the eyes of faith, it seems pretty clear that God was at work in Esther and Mordecai’s lives long before and after she becomes queen.

As a woman, Esther is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Here is a strong, young woman who risks her own life to save her people. And she becomes the heroine of the story. So I am glad that the story is part of sacred scriptures, but I am afraid that many of us live our lives of faith the way the unknown author of Esther does.

I believe whoever wrote the story and those who preserved it certainly saw God at work in it. But God is never given credit for all the good that comes to God’s people because of Esther’s courage and Mordecai’s knowledge. There is no explicit reference to the One who makes this story of salvation a reality.

How many of us see God at work in our lives and maybe even share great stories of grace and mercy but leave out any direct mention of God? How many times do we share good things that happen in our lives but leave God’s work out our stories?