Indiscernible: not discernible; cannot be seen or perceived clearly; imperceptible; impossible to see or clearly distinguish; not recognizable as distinct.
The Name of God is not mentioned one time in the entire book of Esther. As a matter of fact, Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God by Name.
So how should we look for Him, in a story where He is not cited, at all?
While it was tempting to make some kind of a spiritual connection: God characterized in King Ahasuerus; Vashti representing the Israelites being replaced due to blatant disobedience; and then Esther, an embodiment of God’s favor bestowed on the Gentiles; instead I looked for Him and realized, although not clearly discernible, He was there governing the course of history in His Indiscernible Involvement.
Jesus Himself expressed the Indiscernible Involvement of the Holy Spirit in His work of regeneration.
“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit,” (John 3:7-8).
And Scripture clearly states there will be many things about Him that are Indiscernible, or secret, to us.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever… (Deuteronomy 29:29).
So, while we may not be able to discern Him by Name in the pages of Esther, we can definitely perceive His provision throughout her story.
Consider His Indiscernible Involvement
If we will but open our eyes of faith, His Indiscernible Involvement becomes actually, very discernible.
- His Indiscernible Involvement in the timing of events
- Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus…. 5 When these days were completed, the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, from the greatest to the least, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace, (1:1, 5).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in the will of man
- On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded… 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful, 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him, (1:10-12).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in the counsel of man
- “According to law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?”… 19“ If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she,”… 21 This word pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed, (1:15, 19, 21).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in the recommendations by man
- Then the king’s attendants, who served him, said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king, (2:2).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in the situations of families
- Now there was at the citadel in Susa a Jew whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, 6 who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled. 7 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, (2:5-7).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in finding favor with man
- …Esther was taken to the king’s palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. 9 Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him… (2:8-9).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in wisdom and discretion
- Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known, (2:10).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in royal appointments
- The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti, (2:17).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in obedience
- Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people, even as Mordecai had commanded her; for Esther did what Mordecai told her as she had done when under his care, (2:20).
- His Indiscernible Involvement in exposing betrayal
- In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 But the plot became known to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name, (2:21-22).
How do we respond to His Indiscernible Involvement?
Consider the following note from NIV Study Bible:
“An outstanding feature of this book—one that has given rise to considerable discussion—is the complete absence of any explicit reference to God, worship, prayer, or sacrifice. This “secularity” has produced many detractors who have judged the book to be of little religious value. However, it appears that the author has deliberately refrained from mentioning God or any religious activity as a literary device to heighten the fact that it is God who controls and directs all the seemingly insignificant coincidences that make up the plot and issue in deliverance for the Jews. God’s sovereign rule is assumed at every point, an assumption made all the more effective by the total absence of reference to him. It becomes clear to the careful reader that Israel’s Great King exercises his providential and sovereign control over all the vicissitudes of his beleaguered covenant people.”
So how should we respond? We should come as careful readers, to look for Him in His Word and in this world. Let us tune our hearts to His Truth that we would read the times, always assuming it is God Who controls every seemingly insignificant coincidence to issue in His deliverance.
And perhaps, Esther is just what we all need, especially during the times we now find ourselves. Perhaps Esther is a glaring reminder that just because we cannot clearly discern Him in the narrative does not negate His Presence or interest and activity.
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:18).
And because the natural eye does not see clearly, does not refute His sovereign rule. And perhaps because His Involvement is Indiscernible, Esther is His gift to us, for such a time as this.
Today, let’s close with a few verses to remind and strengthen our faith: that while His Involvement may at times by Indiscernible, He is in control and forever rules and reigns.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared,
A great King over all the earth.
3 He subdues peoples under us
And nations under our feet.
4 He chooses our inheritance for us…
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with a skillful psalm.
8 God reigns over the nations,
God sits on His holy throne, (Psalm 47:2-4, 7-8).
The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
2 Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting, (Psalm 93:1-2).
How great are His signs
And how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
And His dominion is from generation to generation, (Daniel 4:3).
Let us learn well from Esther’s story. May we choose obedience, that we would walk in these times by faith, trusting our eternal King; convinced that although at times His Involvement may be Indiscernible or seemingly altogether invisible, He is faithful and worthy of all honor and glory forever and ever.
for we walk by faith, not by sight, (2 Corinthian 5:7).
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen, (1 Timothy 1:17).