“He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father or mother. Now the young lady was beautiful of form and face, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. So it came about when the command and decree of the king were heard and many young ladies were gathered to the citadel of Susa into the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king’s palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.
Now the young lady pleased him and found favour with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem” (Esther 2:7-9).
When we reduce the Bible to a collection of random stories and a list of rules, we also fail to see the mighty hand of God at work in the subtle details of our lives. How easily this moment in time could be interpreted as a tragic abuse of power: an orphan girl, taken away from her loving guardian against her will, into the house of a king who only wants her for her beauty.
When we read the Bible as a meta-narrative, a carefully designed and unified story from start to finish, we find peace and comfort in spite of the many circumstances which seemingly force their will upon us. Read this story again. What does the author want you to see? He wants you to see Abraham and Sarah, who found themselves in nearly identical circumstances: Sarah was taken into Pharaoh’s house against her will on account of her beauty; Abraham was temporarily separated from Sarah, but also chosen by God to bless the world (Gen 12:11-16). Now look one more time: and you will see the God of Israel at work, the God who is far more powerful than Egypt and Persia. These subtle clues in this story about Esther and Mordecai give us every reason to believe that, in spite of these troubling circumstances, we can expect a happy ending! This story about Esther and Mordecai is the same old story about the God of Israel who uses unlikely people to fulfill his redemptive purposes.
You may not be so happy with the current chapter in your life. But this chapter doesn’t belong to your personal story. It is part of God’s Master-Story, a story which most assuredly will conclude with a truly glorious and eternally happy ending! “The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD” (Psalm 146:10)