May 1, 2017
READ: Esther 2:5-23
[God] controls the course of world events; he removes Kings and sets up other Kings (Daniel 2:21).
“The World in Crisis, and No Genius in Sight” read an editorial headline of The Wall Street Journal in July 2016. The article was written against the backdrop of a world watching to see who would win the presidential election in America; investors and economists speculating the impact of Brexit (the UK’s exit from the European Union) on the world’s economy; the dark cloud of terrorism looming over Europe; and waves of refugees looking for safe haven.
Today, the world continues to be in crisis, and we’re still looking for solutions. Fortunately the book of Esther speaks to us in these perilous times.
In Esther 2 we encounter a king looking for a new queen after exiling his last wife in a rage. The king’s advisors concocted a plan—for the king to have his pick from the most beautiful young women in the kingdom. Esther, a young Jewish girl, was one of the women brought to the king’s harem (vv.7-8).
Esther stood out from the group and found favour with Hegai, keeper of the harem, and subsequently with the king, who “loved Esther more than any of the other young women” and crowned her queen (vv.15-17). As harrowing as this must have been for Esther, to have her life in the hands of an unpredictable king, her ordeal set the stage for the young queen to play an important role in protecting God’s people from total annihilation (8:1-17).
Although God’s name is never mentioned in the book of Esther, we can see Him working behind the scenes to save His people. And He’s still at work today. Although evil and tragedy may strike, God is still on His throne and nothing can ultimately thwart His purposes. We can rest in His good ways—knowing that He will never leave or abandon us(Hebrews 13:5).
—Poh Fang Chia
365-day plan: Nehemiah 8:1-18
Read Daniel 2:20-22 and consider what the prophet said about God’s power and sovereignty over all things.
How does the reality that God sovereignly works through current affairs shape the way you take in the news? Why does this give you hope today?