Esther and Providence

15 04 2015

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Just finished the Book of Esther in my daily time with God. I read this in the devotional book that I use. We need to be reminded that in the mind of God, there are no coincidences.  Pastor Dave

Providence is a term theologians use to express the conviction that God works out His purposes through natural processes in the physical and social universe.
In this universe every effect can be traced back to a natural cause. In the world of cause and effect there is no hint of miracles, and no need to bring God up to explain what happens. In the natural universe the most one can point to is coincidence: “What a coincidence that Esther happened to be queen just when Haman tried to exterminate the Jews!” Or, “What a coincidence that the king couldn’t sleep one night, and that the portion of the annals of his kingdom that were read to him recorded how Mordecai had uncovered a plot against his life.” The believer can say that God arranged the coincidences—the unbeliever scoffs because each event can be traced back to natural causes that “fully explain” what happened without reference to God.
The story told in the Book of Esther illustrates divine providence by identifying “coincidences” which led to the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them. Because this is a book about providence, God is not mentioned. Yet the string of coincidences, leading so naturally to the deliverance, is so striking that His activity is clearly implied.
The God of the Old Testament is God of the Covenant. God is committed to care for His chosen people, Israel. Against the background of the covenant relationship of God with the Jews, the story’s “coincidences” testify to the fact of His providential care.
What you and I learn from Esther is that God is always at work in the lives of His people. The seeming “coincidences” that mark our lives are not simply products of cause and effect or of random change. The coincidences that mark our lives are ordained by God, and are intended for our good.

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