Touches: Small Thoughts on a Very Big God

Feb 25, 2021

Author: Ofer Amitai, Messianic pastor Jerusalem and Director of Israel Prayer Centre

 

 

Purim 2021

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia), in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel, that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him.” Esther 1:1-3

Thus begins this amazing story that culminates with the saving of the Jewish people from evil Haman.

God’s name does not appear in the book of Esther at all. Neither are his acts and works mentioned. The only little hint that points to the fact that He is very much present and active is found in Mordechai’s warning and challenge to Esther, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.” Esther 4:14

Several things become apparent in this wonderful and reassuring story.

1. God has prepared everything ahead of time; all was ready when the time arrived. Thus Esther was at her prime of life as a young woman and well trained by Mordechai. Mordechai was already a seasoned man of God, walking in all His ways and able to stay true to the Lord amid enormous pressures.

We can find an example of God preparing things ahead of time in the book of Jonah. For instance, there God “prepared a great fish.” The word for ‘prepared’ in Hebrew is ‘mana,’ which means to appoint. In modern Hebrew, it is used to describe an ambassador’s appointment, for instance, to represent Israel in another country. That ambassador is authorized to do official business in the country to which he is appointed. Since the fish was appointed, one can say that the great fish was on official business when he swallowed Jonah.

2. All the characters in the book exercise free will; they are free to choose as they please. According to their nature and will, they act freely, but God in His providence weaves their decisions and acts into His own story.

3. All the events that seem so unrelated turn out to be part of the rescue story. Vasthi refuses to come before the king when called; the king’s advisors counsel the king to find another wife. Out of all the women in the kingdom, Esther is chosen to be queen. Mordechai, who is faithful to the king, uncovers a plot to assassinate him. This event is written in Persia’s history books. At a critical moment, the king cannot sleep and calls on one of his scribes to read to him from the history books. It just happens that the scribe reads to the king Mordechai’s heroic act to save the king. Even Haman’s actions turn out to only move the plot further along towards its desired end.

As it was then, it is also now; the ways of God have not changed. We can be sure that God knows how to fulfill His purposes in our lives and on the earth. We can be sure of His sovereignty and providence and need not fear nor fret nor try to work things out in our power and wisdom.

But, as in any good story, there is a twist in the plot. The providential workings of God are not automatic. We have to decide on which side of His providence we want to be.

Esther hesitated out of fear to do her part. Mordechai warned her but also encouraged her to see the “faith side of dark things.”

“And Mordecai sent back his answer to Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14.

The Jewish people’s rescue was possible because Mordechai and Esther chose to walk with the Lord and do His will. Thus Esther decided to risk her life and appear, uncalled, before the king, to intercede for her people. Mordechai walked in the fear of the Lord as well, despite the great danger and challenge to his person.

We, too, must decide which side of the story we want to be on; we are called upon to choose the will of God, the ways of God.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28

And who are those who love God, if not those who love His Will, His ways, and walk in them?

Choose God. He promises to work out all things according to His purposes, even if He seems hidden, even if you can’t see Him, even when things don’t make sense.

He is Immanuel!

 

Blessings in Yeshua

 

Touches: Small Thoughts on a Very Big God.

Author: Ofer Amitai, Messianic pastor Jerusalem and Director of Israel Prayer Centre

25th February 2021.

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