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My Closing Thoughts on Chapter 1
Every story has a beginning, a spark that sets everything else into motion. In the Book of Esther, we find this spark in Chapter 1, amid grand feasts, bold defiance, and royal decrees. These events seem like nothing more than individual decisions, like dominos toppling one after the other in a line.
But if we look a little closer, we start to see something more. The dismissal of Queen Vashti, while on its face a reaction to her refusal, is actually a crucial turning point. It opens the door for Esther to rise to the throne and sets in motion a chain of events leading to the salvation of an entire people. What appears to be a simple series of reactions and consequences is, in reality, a design as intricate and purposeful as the pattern on a quilt.
Just like each thread and patch in a quilt has its own purpose and place, so does every choice in this story. The king’s grand feast, Vashti’s defiance, the subsequent royal edict – each one finds its place in the unfolding design.
But this leads us to a question that’s as old as time itself: where does our own free will fit in this divine design? Charles Spurgeon, summed it up beautifully when he said, “I cannot explain it. I cannot tell you where human will and free agency unite with God’s sovereignty and with his unfailing decrees… Some have said, Man does as he likes; and others have said, God does as he pleases. In one sense, they are both true; but there is no man that has brains or understanding enough to show where they meet.”
In Spurgeon’s words, we see the acknowledgment of a mystery as deep and vast as the night sky. It’s a mystery we encounter in Esther’s story, as human decisions interweave with divine orchestration. While we may not fully understand how these two threads entwine, we can find comfort in the knowledge that they do.
As we walk through life, making our choices and facing their consequences, we can do so with the certainty that we’re part of something bigger. Like the patches in a quilt or like Esther in her story, we’re part of God’s grand design. Every decision we make, every step we take, is woven into a pattern far more beautiful and intricate than we can possibly comprehend, each led by the sure and loving hand of an Almighty God.
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
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