Read Esther 2:17 – 6:3 

(or if you have time, read the whole book).

As you read, note the amount of times there is an instance of what we would call ‘God’s providence’, that is his secret hand in the affairs of people, working out his grand plan.

Esther is a curious book of the Bible. Of course, the only book with no mention of the name of God at all, yet it is a book ‘thick’ with his presence. The narrative is brilliantly put together so that it seems there is no part of the godless exile where God is not active. One could think that the lack of God’s name actually just accentuates his pervasive and subterranean presence. Whether it is in the plans of Mordecai, the placement of Esther, the insomnia of King Ahasuerus or the egotism of Haman, God sovereignly rules the ‘in-betweens’ of reality.

A component list life vs. an exploded view.

One of the reasons we get such a feel for God’s presence in the book of Esther (and it is a feel rather than a defined description), is the way the story is told and the narrative unfolds. Rather than a ‘component list’ of the qualities, actions or words of God, the writer weaves the story. Each character is connected and it is in this ‘exploded view’ of the situation that we can trace the themes of God’s covenant grace and sovereign rule. Note the examples. 

It is quite easy and natural for us to view life in list form; a peek at our diaries will reveal this. We live Dissected and Descartes-ed lives, tricking ourselves into thinking we can mentally compartmentalize our souls. We go from one task to the next, one meeting to the next, taking off this hat in exchange for another. And in this list work we develop callouses over our ability to see God’s presence in the ‘in-betweens’ of our own lives. We miss the themes. What we need is an ‘exploded view’ of our lives, seeing how each part of us – our roles, activities, emotions, relationships, situations – fit together and reveal God’s activities and presence. 


Take some time then to undertake the following exercise before God-

  1. In the middle of a blank piece of paper write “My Life”. Write the various areas of your life, note as a list, but in an ‘exploded view’ around the outside of the words. Don’t worry about trying to fit the pieces together, just list approx seven areas of your life, including not just roles and jobs you have (home, church, work, key relationships) but also perhaps ‘my spiritual life’ and ‘my emotional life’.
  2. Take some time to write a one sentence summary under each area to attempt to capture what has happened in that area over the last three months. You might jot down your feelings about that area or something big that has happened or something seemingly insignificant that has stood out to you in that area.
  3. Now, take a look at the exploded view. Look for common themes among each area. Ask God to reveal his presence in the ‘in-betweens’ of your life. Draw the links between shared areas and write down God’s activity. Maybe you have seen specific instances of God’s grace, or maybe his provision, or maybe it’s a specific response in yourself that you notice. Pray through those themes you see, thanking God for his presence and asking where he is leading. 
  4. Now consider how Jesus’ death and resurrection influences the diagram, and your responses below.  Write these influences in and pray them through.

Brad Dewson, Minister Goondiwindi Presbyterian Church

Living Church is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland
PO Box 554, Carina Q 4152
07 3398 4333 |