At the end of Esther’s story, we have the same king as at the beginning, King Ahasuerus. We have the same kingdom, where he reigns from India to Ethiopia, more than 127 provinces. We have the same country, Persia, and the same capital city, Susa. But some things have changed. Vashti is no longer queen; Esther is queen. And she is a queen who has won her husband’s overwhelming respect and loyalty. Haman was once second in command, but he is gone forever. Mordecai is alive and well. Wicked plans have been thwarted. Corruption has been rooted out. Evil has been fully dealt with. To make matters even better, Mordecai has been promoted by the king, and he is now in Haman’s old position—”second only to King Ahasuerus.”
When God wins, the people He uses are often unexpected. Or consider another unexpected choice. If you wanted to lead an exodus of two million people out of Egypt, who would you choose to confront Pharaoh—a Jew or a fellow Egyptian? Be honest, now. And if you chose a Jew, would you choose a man with murder on his record? And would he be eighty years old? And would you select a leather-skinned shepherd who hadn’t been in a big city for forty years? See, the further you look, the more surprising it gets. Moses’ resumé was pretty unimpressive: “Worked for father-in-law as shepherd for past forty years.” He was an over-the-hill Bedouin.
Would you have chosen a harlot to hide the spies? Would you have chosen a defecting, rebellious prophet to lead the Greater Nineveh Evangelistic Crusade? Would you have chosen a former Christian-hating Pharisee to model grace and to write most of the New Testament? Would you have chosen a man who denied Jesus (three times!) as the major spokesman for the early church?
But, you see, God does surprising things. That’s why He lifts a no-name Jew from the gate of the king and makes him a prime minister. God delights in lifting up nobodies and using them as somebodies. As Paul writes to the Corinthians, “not many mighty, not many noble”—in other words, not many bluebloods are chosen. He has chosen the despised and many of the losers of the world to follow the One who died on a cross and to bring ultimate victory for us all. So, as you have seen so clearly in the book of Esther, the God who seems not to be present is, in fact, ever-present, omnipotent, and in complete control. And so He is in your life too.