Esther and the Silent Sovereignty of God

Bethany Jenkins | July 16, 2015

When you’re a religious minority living in a dominant culture with completely different views from you on almost everything, how do you relate to that culture? Do you withdraw, assimilate, protest, critique? 

This is the question Tim Keller asks in his four-part sermon series, “Esther and the Hiddenness of God.” And it’s the question many of us are asking now. 

No Mention of God

In the biblical Book of Esther, the Jews are in danger. They’re a religious minority living in Persia, a society dominated by spiritual and moral values at great variance to theirs. They have no king, no army, and no land. And powerful forces want to destroy them. 

In the past, when God’s people have been in trouble, he’s sent miraculous signs and wonders. Here, though, he seems completely absent. There’s no mention of God at all—no vision, no dream, no prophecy, no prayer.

Is this an accidental oversight? Or could it be the point?

String of “Coincidences” 

The Esther story is one of the most realistic biblical accounts of God’s providence precisely because God seems absent. It shows us how the unseen God often works through human history—“not by his miraculous intervention,” Karen Jobes observes, “but through…

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