Hope in the Darkness

Will God be faithful? Will He provide for us? Is He going to save us? Where is He?

These questions must have been in the mind of every Israelite during the time of Esther. They had been taken into captivity and were living under Persian rule. Unlike the rest of their brothers and sisters, they had not yet returned to their homeland (Ezra/Nehemiah) and continued to live in a foreign land under a foreign ruler. To make matters worse, on the eve of the Passover, a decree had gone out that all of the Jews would be destroyed within a year. The future did not look bright for God’s people.

The Unseen Hand of God

Where was God? We know that He entered into a covenant with His people through Abraham, and He promised that He would bless them (Gen. 12). Furthermore, He promised that He would curse those that dishonored His people. However, it seemed as if God were nowhere to be found. Perhaps He had enough of the Israelites’ sin? Was He done caring for them? The Israelites were living in darkness, and it seemed that all hope was lost. That is, until one sleepless night.

We learn from the book of Esther that there are no coincidences in the economy of God.

In Esther 6, we read that the king was unable to sleep. He asked his servants bring him a copy of the chronicles, and they read him the portion that detailed Mordecai’s faithfulness in alerting the queen of a potential assassination attempt (Esther 2).

In the remaining portion of the book of Esther, we read that a great reversal has taken place. Queen Esther pleads the case of the Jews before the king. Haman, who plotted against the Jews, is executed for his wicked ways. The Jews are spared – and even granted victory – over those that sought to take their lives!

The book of Esther nowhere mentions God. He seems to be absent from the book. However, we know that God is never absent. What we see from the book of Esther is that God is always present, and He is always working all things out for the good of His people and for the praise of His glory. We learn from the book of Esther that there are no coincidences in the economy of God.

Trusting God’s Character

Are you slow to spot God’s hand in your own life? In your ministry? If so, remind yourself of the character of the God that you serve. Remind yourself that we serve a covenant-keeping God. He is orchestrating all things for our good and His praise. The providence of God does not mean that our lives will be free from trial, but it does mean that we can have hope in the midst of trouble-filled lives.

If you are struggling in your faith, in the ministry, or in life in general, cast your anxieties on Christ! Trust in the sovereignty of God as you remember His character. He is faithful. He is good. He is gracious. He is a loving Father.

May we be able to echo the words of Charles Spurgeon when he said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” Let the trials of life throw you into a deeper intimacy with God, and cling to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as your soul’s anchor in the darkest of nights.

 Josh Chambers is the lead pastor of Pleasant Street Baptist Church in Worcester, MA. He blogs regularly at https://thereformedlife.net. You can follow him on Instagram @jchambers5 and on Twitter @josh_chambers5.