The book of Esther is unique in the Bible because God is not mentioned. In fact, despite the harrowing circumstances in the book, prayer isn’t mentioned either. However, fasting is mentioned. Given the lack of any mention of God in Esther, how do we know that God is in this book? Is there evidence within the text that tells us God is there?

A prevailing theme of Esther is that things are not as they appear. Just look at everything going on; that isn’t how it seems.

  1. Esther’s real name isn’t even Esther. Esther’s given name was Hadassah, but she’s called Esther to hide her Jewish origin (Esther 2:7). 
  2. Two of King Xerxes’ officials plot to assassinate him secretly, and Mordecai reveals the plot. Yet, there’s no immediate reward for his allegiance to the king (Esther 2:21-23)
  3. Although Mordecai is a Jew, this fact isn’t known until he has a choice to follow his Jewish faith or bow down to honor Haman (Esther 3:2). 
  4. Haman looks like he’s going to get his way and goes from being honored to being executed by the king (Esther 6). 
  5. Mordecai looks like he will be executed and is honored by the king instead (Esther 6).
  6. All Jews are set to be murdered; instead, they do away with their enemies (Esther 8-9).

It makes sense, then, that God isn’t directly mentioned in Esther. However, as we read through the book, we can see the hand of God throughout it.

Vashti’s Disobedience (Esther 1-2

The events in Esther, pertaining to the destruction of the Jews, could have occurred without Queen Vashti’s disobedience. Mordecai was still a Jew following the Lord, so he wouldn’t have bowed down to Haman. However, because Vashti disobeyed Xerxes, she was removed, and Esther was put into her place. Thus, Mordecai had someone to appeal to the king for the Jews. Otherwise, Mordecai would have been executed, and the Jews would have been destroyed. 

The Conspiracy Against Xerxes (Esther 2:21-23)

If Esther hadn’t been made Queen, then Mordecai wouldn’t have been able to report to her about the assassination plot against Xerxes. However, one could argue that in the time between Esther 2:21-23 and Esther 3, the plot could have been executed, and Haman never honored by Xerxes. 

Such a Time as This (Esther 4:13-14)

He sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (emphasis added)

Esther 4:13-14 (NIV)

There can be no doubt that Mordecai saw God’s hand in the events of Esther being raised to Queen and the subsequent order to have all Jews destroyed. 

Fasting (Esther 4:16-17)

Esther, her attendants, and all of the Jews in Susa fast for three days and nights. The Jews didn’t fast without praying. Fasting is often the outward sign of an inward struggle while beseeching God for enlightenment and change. In light of the circumstances, going before the king and possibly being executed if he’s not pleased, the world would say, “Let’s eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may die” instead of fasting. 

Unable to Sleep and Mordecai’s Execution (Esther 5:14, 6:1-2)

At the end of Esther 5, Haman plans to go to the king the next morning and have Mordecai executed. There’s no doubt that Haman will have his way after everything the king has allowed him to do. Yet, what happens that same night?

That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.

Esther 6:1 (NIV)

Maybe this was one way the king could get to sleep, but I think he couldn’t sleep because the Lord brought something to his mind.

It was found that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked. “Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered. Esther 6:2-4 (NIV)

Haman’s Perfect Timing (Esther 6:3-11)

Because Haman determined to have Mordecai executed, he showed up bright and early in the morning at court. Just in time to help the king honor Mordecai instead. Anyone else could have been there, or the king could have called upon anyone else. Still, Haman just happened to be there in time to advise the king on how to honor someone who delights the king. This is divine irony or what some might call “poetic justice.” 

Conclusion

Although God isn’t mentioned in Esther, it’s evident through the text that God is present despite the circumstances. As we read through Esther, we can see that everything had to be “just right” for the events to unfold as they did. In our lives, we all go through stuff and wonder if we will make it through. We can learn from Esther that our circumstances don’t dictate who God is. God dictates our circumstances. Therefore, we can trust that everything, no matter how it might look, will work out according to God’s perfect will because things aren’t always as they seem. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.