Esther is married to a perverted, pagan king who claims to be a god. Not good. Mordecai is going to be executed. Not good. Genocide is coming for the entire Jewish people in Persia. Really, really, really, ridiculously, not good. So far, so bad for the story of Esther. Worst of all, God has not shown up, spoken, given a sign, or done anything to show His people that He has things under control or is even paying attention to what is going on. Things are hopeless and God is far away. . . or maybe even absent altogether.
Life feels like that sometimes. You've probably never faced the impending genocide of your people, but we've all faced tragedy and the kind of worry that wakes you up at night and keeps you from sleeping. It's easy to give up hope. It's easy to feel like God doesn't care. It's easy to see no way out. But I have good news: God is the King of reversals! From chapter 6 and on in Esther, God drops one cosmic Uno card after another completely reversing every situation and turning everything upside down.
Esther has been stuck with a pagan megalomaniac for a husband who rarely has time for her unless he is "in the mood." But this gives Esther access to the one man who can stop Haman. Boom, reversal. Mordecai has been catching grief from Haman for years. One day, Mordecai ends up being pivotal in saving the King's life and a parade Haman intended for himself is given to Mordecai. To top it off, Haman has to lead the parade and announce Mordecai to the city! Bam, reversal. Mordecai is going to be executed by Haman. But when Esther tells the King that she is a Jew, Xerxes has Haman executed on the very gallows that were built for Mordecai. And then the King gives Haman's old job and wealth to Mordecai! Flippity Flop! Last but not least, we've got the whole genocide thing. Esther, Mordecai, and Xerxes put together a law that allows the Jews to majorly fight back on their doomsday. It goes so well for them that the Jews to this day celebrate and remember that day with the Feast of Purim. Did somebody say...
Perhaps the best reversal in all of history is the one God pulled off 2,000 years ago. God's children had rebelled against Him and were on a course leading straight to Hell. So He sent His Son to flip the biggest flop ever. Jesus lived the perfect, sinless, righteous life that we have all failed to live. Jesus died the death and faced the wrath and judgment we all deserve. Jesus even reversed death and conquered the grave so that anyone who trusts in Him can be turned from an enemy of God on a course for Hell to a friend of God on a course for eternal life. Paul puts the reversal this way:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -- 2 Corinthians 5:21
And that's the best news of all. Even though God is able to reverse any tragic situation we face in this life, He doesn't promise that He will. God isn't going to fix everything in your lifetime. Don't misunderstand. He will certainly use it for your ultimate good and His glory. . . but He won't always rescue us out of it like He did in the story of Esther. But if you've trusted in Jesus, this life won't be the end of the story for you. Even if God doesn't reverse all of your tragedies now, He will in the end. Take a look at these promises from God to reverse it all one day.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." -- Matthew 5:3-12
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. -- Revelation 21:4
- Have I accepted the good news that Jesus took my place as a sinner and has offered me His place as a righteous child of God? If not, you can trust Jesus today! Talk to a Christian friend, pastor, or me because we'd love to help you start your walk with God.
- What situations have been robbing you of joy or hope lately?
- Do you trust that God is in control, has a plan, and can rescue you at any moment?
- How does that change your perspective and attitude? How can you remind yourself of that day to day?
- Are you willing to accept that God won't come to the rescue every time in this life? Why or why not?
- How would your perspective and attitude change if you really believed that this life is short and heaven was your destination? How can you make that a daily thought?