The Book of Esther plays out like a movie. There is an intense plot - a queen dethroned and exiled, a beauty pageant for the king to choose his next queen, a royal wedding, an assassination plot foiled by the enemy of the king's right hand man, politics, revenge, an evil plot uncovered, hangings, and war.
Today's reading contains the perfect movie ending - the good guys win!
But Esther did not know this was how it would end. Things could have gone much differently. The king could have refused to extend the golden sceptre to her and had her killed. Or, he could have allowed her to live, but not believe her story about Haman. Or he could have believed it but have been indifferent, allowing Haman to proceed as planned but sparing the queen. Or, or, or.
But, though the name of God is never uttered in this book, His sovereignty is on clear display from beginning to end. And the end was never in doubt. God would never allow His people to be wiped out. He had promised to always leave a remnant, and He was faithful to that promise.
However, Esther, by doing what was asked of her, by doing the right thing, by showing up "at such a time as this", had the privilege and blessing of participating in God's plan.
What will we do when God asks something difficult of us?
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 1-2; Acts 7:22-43