THIS PLEASED THE KING

Today's devotion from Esther 1 and 2.

Esther's tale is one that proves God's ability to wrest glory from even the most abhorrent situation. It begins with lewd and drunken behavior following right into deviant behavior and lavish excess. It reads more like a modern amoral twist on Cinderella than the backdrop for God's work in keeping His promises to redeem and restore.

Yet, every event through which God moves is flawed and every person He calls is broken. If this were not the truth, then there would be no need for God to work. We could simply redeem ourselves. But you and I both know this isn't true. There is no "feeling" our way back to God. So, we see God time and again patiently moving the broken pieces into their proper positions at the right time before He finally applied the healing salve.

This patient work of God is how we now find ourselves in, for lack of a better word, a royal brothel filled with young virgins collected and manicured for the king's pleasure. And yet even here he is at work. Consider, for example, how uncommon this practice is in Scripture. We've seen many a king with multiple wives, but most of these cases have been institutional marriages. Kings may have had many mistresses, but they seemed to marry for political reasons.

Where is the political practicality of Esther? They don't even know her race when she is chosen. This is a sign that communicates either the absolute and unquestionable power of the king, the unimaginable depths of his hubris, or it was an act ordained by God through which He might preserve His people.

Why would God work this way? Why not another way? We don't know and may never truly understand, but one thing is perfectly clear: if God can bring physical salvation to His people through this orphaned girl who now finds herself at the mercy of a king's whims, what can't He do through where you find yourself today?