See the Bible Project overview here.
The detailed imagery of the book draws you in: “There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones.” (1:6) We are suddenly invited into the Persian Empire, full of banquets, wealth, year-long make-overs and beauty pageants.
It’s true God isn’t mentioned in this story, but He is everywhere. One of my favorite movements of God is how He gives people favor. We pray for that all the time, in YWAM, that someone will receive favor from consulates able to approve or deny travel visas. There are many strategic moments when we need favor to be where we need to be. Esther didn’t know why she received this favor, but she got it from all the right people.
We have more stories of God’s people moving into positions of favor in the Persian empire, like Daniel and Nehemiah. God moved King Cyrus to favorabley send the Jewish exiles back. Some of Israel’s finest moments interacting with foreign powers is their varied relationships with the Persian Empire. God has a thing for Persians. The Magi, for example, were Persian. He gives favor to His people and it blesses the nation they are engaged in. Blessed to be a blessing. It’s always been “the plan”.
Even in these first chapters Esther’s rise to power benefits the king before it ever benefits her. Mordecai foils an assassination plot.
Look for the places you’ve received favor. What doors have been opened to you that were not “givens”. Maybe you don’t know all the whys for receiving it and being where you are, but keep an eye out for ways you can bless others because you are there.
God is everywhere and we don’t always recognize Him. Look for God in your day and thank Him for the favor, positions and relationships He’s given.