Esther: Providential Irony

Judging by the blank looks on the faces of some, my Flintstones reference didn’t connect. (Listen to their 30 sec theme song; noting especially the final phrase, by clicking here.) I was making the point that language evolves over time thus changing definitions. Some insist that word meanings should remain static and not change. However, if we are to communicate well to THIS culture we must use the most commonly accepted definitions, regardless of our personal preferences.

Now, regarding the story of Esther; this is an example of story telling at his best! The good guys win and the bad guys lose as in all good stories. But along the way there is danger, risks are taken, and difficult choices are made. There is no specific word from the Lord and Mordecai and Esther must decide what it means to live lives that He would approve. For Mordecai this means thwarting an assassination attempt as well as encouraging Esther to appeal to the king to save her people. For Esther this means risking her life. Surely her body shook with fear when she uttered the words, “When this [fast] is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

Esther’s faith is what made this Bible story one of my daughter’s favorites when she was young. There are many stories of men of faith told in the Bible; but this particular story shows the fate of an entire race of people hinging on the decision of one woman. Thank God she was a woman of faith!

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


5 Responses to “Esther: Providential Irony”

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    This is a great story and you did a magnificent job a telling it! I was literally on the edge of my pew. I have read the story before, but hearing it told in the context of irony was great.
    It is always hard to see God working in our lives. It was encouraging to remember that one of the great stories in the Bible had that mystery to it as well. They had to try to figure out by faith what God was doing and what they should do.

  2. avatar Adam says:

    I wasn't sure if I could keep up with all the things I was 'supposed to remember for later' at the beginning of the sermon. Towards the end, I was sure I couldn't. Thats when I was glad that explanation came with the unfolding of the story. It was like whenever you watch a football game and say, “Whoa! What just happened?!” And then there's a replay.

    I was left with the question; What events in your life have led you up to this point? Listening to this sermon? I think all of us, but especially me, have plenty to think about with this question.

    I think introspection is quite valuable and often reveals life to us and truths that God wants to show us. I think faith is us acting upon what we believe to be God's will. I wonder what Esther and Mortekai were like, I wonder if they were introspective, I wonder what grew their faith. What is certain though, is that they were faithful. They carried out, with all of their heart, what they believed to be God's will.

    We will probably say in Heaven, “How ironic it was…we humans trying to understand God, our creator.”

  3. avatar Candice Rae says:

    #1. I always had a gay ol' time watching the Flintstones growing up. #2. One of the girls tonight was telling me how she went home to watch One Night With the King, I think she liked hearing the story this morning as much as I did. And now we can know the difference between Hollywood appealing to the audience and the true irony of the story. God has such a wonderful way of using the least likely to do unexpected things in unpredictable ways. Gives us all a little hope, not to mention a little sense of adventure too.

  4. avatar Amanda says:

    Oh I totally agree with Candice! The sermon gives us hope. I hope God is planning to use me in a big way too!

    I liked “One Night with the King”, but was also disappointed by how much they deviated from the story, but it was a good movie.

    I think we need to put more emphasis on this story for our young girls. Notice how many women have said that it was one of their favorites. We girls have so few female biblical characters to look up to and we really need that. Not to be blasphemous, but Mary the mother of Jesus was always hard for me to identify with. :/

  5. avatar RJG says:

    “Isn't it Ironic” 1996

    Alanis Morissette

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