The Great Reversal: Esther, pt 1

by Steve Reynolds  /  Esther 1:1-9  /  June 11, 2017

In the study Christian history, I am continuously struck by one thing in the life of many of our heroes: suffering. I think of the early Christian martyrs singing hymns on the way to execution; I think of William Tyndale being strangled and burned for standing against King Henry VIII; I think of early Protestants such as Martin Luther on trial for their faith; I think of John Bunyan being imprisoned for much of his adult life for preaching the Gospel; I think of William Carey preaching for seven years before a convert in India; I think of many of them losing multiple children in childbirth; I think of Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and Nate Saint being massacred by the very people they came to serve in Ecuador. The Christian life and service to God brought each of these suffering. And sometimes I wonder if they thought the oft-asked question, “Where is God?” Where is God when men and women are martyred for their faith? Where is God when our children die? Where is God when our culture places growing pressure on us to forget our faith and deny our Lord? Where is God in the visible evil world? This is one of the most important questions in the book of Esther. This book, for several reasons, is often the most neglected book of the Bible. The largest reason for this is its apparent absence of God. This is the only book of the Bible which never mentions his name. So why is this book in the Bible? I believe it is partly there for this very reason: to show us that, even when God is apparently absent, he is always there. And I pray that you already see that this book is extremely applicable to our lives. The book of Esther gives us a picture of the invisible God at work in a visible world. In our text, today, we will see the visible setting of this book which may appear to be anything but hopeful. But I pray that you will see that there is an invisible God in the midst of that visible world.