The book of Esther closes with the (anti-) climactic battle between the Jews and their enemies, led by the sons of Haman. God’s people are victorious over those who planned to destroy them as they are reminded once again that the Lord delivers His faithful.
Much of the end of Esther is given over to explaining the history of the festival - Purim - that emerges from these events. Though virtually unknown in Christian culture, this celebration is a favorite of Jewish communities and is one of the more colorful holidays on their calendar. In addition to giving gifts of food, reading the story aloud and other traditional elements of the holiday, it is common for Jews to dress in costume during the festivities - similar to the way many celebrate Halloween.
The theological reason for these costumes is that the book of Esther reminds us that the work of God is often “disguised” in mundane events. The elevation of Esther, Mordecai hearing the assassination plot, or Xerxes’ decision to spare Esther might, by themselves, seem like perfectly natural (though improbable) events to the unwary, just as a man in a costume might, on a quick glance, be mistaken for the real thing. But those “in the know” - God’s people, who are looking for His hand - can see through the disguises and find reason to celebrate.
Though the book of Esther never mentions His name, only a fool would fail to realize that He is really behind it all. Her story reminds us that, even today, He is still sovereign, still guiding and leading His people if we will just open our eyes and see.
Where is God working, unseen and unnoticed? Is He calling your name only to be drowned out by the busyness of the modern world? When was the last time you were still, quiet and sought to see and hear what He has for you?
Take a few moments today to seek, not His will, but Him.
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