Here we are at the end of our Esther study and I truly hope that you have been able to see this story in a new light. I pray that it has been a blessing to you and a means by which you have grown in your knowledge of God.
The story of Esther is a beautiful picture of God’s perfect hand working through people and events. From a young Jewish girl being made queen and risking her life to help save the Jewish nation, to the steadfast faithfulness of Mordecai, and the downfall of evil Haman, Esther has a happily-ever-after kind of ending. Esther remains queen, the Jews are safe, and Mordecai is lifted up to a high place of prominence, second only to the king himself.
Before we close the door on this study I would like us to dig a little deeper and take a quick look at the doctrine of the providence of God. I love this doctrine because it allows me to catch a glimpse of the greatness and power of God which I find awe-inspiring, peace-filling, and worship-inducing.
“For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths!” – Psalm 135:5-6
We need to begin with a really good definition of what the providence of God is and the Heidelberg Catechism provides just that.
The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand. – Heidelberg Catechism, Q/A 27
God is the almighty God, which means he doesn’t just hold some power, but all power. He isn’t a little in control, but completely in control. This has tremendous application for us in all areas of our lives, but I just want to highlight a couple.
1. The Providence of God Kills Fear and Gives Comfort
Many, if not all of us, have experienced times of fear and anxiety. This usually comes about because we feel that we are no longer in control of our circumstances. But here is the thing–we were never in control. The providence of God teaches us that it is not man, or Satan, or this world, that is in control, but God alone. God brings life and death (1 Sam. 2:6), he gives riches and makes poor (1 Sam. 2:7), he sends the weather (Job 38) and controls the animals (Is. 7:18). God is in control, and because we know that our God is also good and trustworthy, His providence overcomes our fears and comforts our hearts. Rejoice that you are not in control because you would make things worse. Your righteous God reigns, presently in your life and in all things.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. – Psalms 145:17
2. The Providence of God Kills Our Self-Righteousness
How often do we have proud thoughts of ourselves? Maybe it was the fact that our kids are well behaved or that we have a nice home. Maybe we understand the Word of God easily while others struggle. Perhaps our marriages are doing really well. Any or all of these things are not merely the result of your efforts. They are all gifts. Whatever it is you have has been given to you by God. Whether we are talking about money, position, beauty, brains, wisdom, talents, or anything else, all good things are gifts from God given to us to bring glory to Him (James 1:17). Of course, this also goes for the things that hurt. Our afflictions and trials also come with God’s providence. Maybe you are struggling financially or have a number of health issues. God has allowed those things into your life in order for you to fix your eyes on Jesus and experience first-hand that He is all you really need.
3. The Providence of God Encourages Faith, Love, and Humility
The more you study and understand God’s governing hand over all things, the more humbled you will become and the more you will love and trust your God. He is the embodiment of wisdom. He can do no wrong and makes no foolish choices. Isn’t it great that He is the one who is ordaining all things? Sure, at times it may look a little messy. We will often, like the Psalmists, have a lot of questions. But nothing is left to chance, nothing is an accident, and nothing comes about through fate or karma. Instead, we can sleep peacefully at night knowing that God’s hand is actively involved in all things, down to the smallest details of life. He is active, He is involved and He is perfect. This encourages a humble, vibrant faith.
While God’s name was never mentioned in Esther we see His hand working day and night. We see Him lovingly bringing about the events that He ordained, all the while caring for His people. We may not understand all that God is doing because we are finite and God is infinite, we only see part of the picture but God sees the whole, but we can trust Him with our lives and joyfully go into our days no matter what they may hold because it will always include God’s powerful hand.
Looking to Jesus,
Thank you so much for joining us for our Esther study! We will now take a two-week break and start our next study, Beatitudes, on November 11th! We would love for you to join us and invite your friends!
See you back on November 11th for our powerful next study!