Imagine for a moment that God called you to tell your people that judgment was coming because of their sin – that the battles ahead are going to be lost and that another nation is going to conquer them. God reassures you, though, that in 70 years your nation will begin to rebuild.
Oh, how I wish I could have the heart of Job in my suffering! If only Job could have witnessed the conversation Satan had in the throne room of God,(1:6-12), surely Job would’ve understood the context of his suffering.
Ironically, God is not mentioned a single time in the book of Esther. Nope, not even once. Seriously, go look for yourself, but I’ll tell you right now it’s a waste of time. The words El or Elohim? Zero times. Yahweh or Adonai? Nada. Shaddai or Ehyeh? Zilch. Not even an angel or lowly messenger from the Lord with a word from God? Nope, not at all. None of these are present in the book of Esther at any point. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s just how the proverbial cookie crumbles as Esther and Mordecai face a plot in which Haman tries to murderously eradicate the chosen people of God. Hmm, it seems we could really use God showing up here…
You can imagine the scene: Israel is exiled in Babylon, and they have been there for seven decades. Seven decades of waiting and wondering. Seven decades for any lingering hopes of deliverance to dwindle. Seven decades asking whether God would rescue them from exile, or not. Seven decades of desperately crying out to God, only to hear nothing in return. Two generations have come and gone, but Israel is still in Babylon, beleaguered by years of disappointment.
God has always longed to be with his people and He has always been the one to make a way for that to happen. In His kindness, He made a covenant with David that his son, Solomon, would one day build a house for Him. The God of the universe would come to dwell among His people!
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Chapel Hill Bible Church