Dusting for Fingerprints

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“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Powerless. An apt description of the Israelites in exile. During the events in the book of Esther, some had returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Yet many stayed in their home away from home now ruled by the Persian empire. Though God is never mentioned, His fingerprints cover the book of Esther.

Should the events of the book of Esther be considered coincidence or providence? Let’s examine the evidence.

Powerless: Neither Esther nor the Jewish people had clout. Not religiously, politically, nor socially. The Jews lived as aliens in a foreign land. And Esther? A no-name who, even after becoming queen, faded into the palace background, just another pretty face among innumerable concubines.

“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” Esther 4:11

Power-Hungry: Haman rose through the political ranks of Persia like a firecracker on the fourth of July. Given carte blanche by the king, Haman used his power for a personal vendetta. Not content merely to take out the man who disrespected him, Haman sought to wipe out an entire people group.

“So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ the king said to Haman, ‘and do with the people as you please.’” Esther 3:10-11

Powerhouse: True power rests with our God. In the book of Esther, don’t look for flashy miracles. Dust for fingerprints instead, because God worked behind the scenes. Note the number of fingerprints found in the book of Esther:

  • In a fit of temper, the king dethroned the reigning queen.
  • A simple Jewish girl takes her place.
  • A thwarted assassination attempt was recorded but not rewarded.
  • The new queen, who had not seen her husband in over a month, risked her life (and his temper) to see him and found favor.
  • The king’s sleepless night brought a Jewish man to the king’s attention.
  • The second most powerful man in the empire fell from grace in less than twenty-four hours and forfeited his life.
  • The Jewish man assumed the second most powerful position in the empire, and the Jewish people were saved from annihilation, also in less than twenty-four hours.
  • The Jewish man and the queen were close relatives.

If your situation looks impossible.

If you feel powerless.

If someone else appears to hold all the marbles.

Stop. Don’t lose hope.

Dust for fingerprints, because God is working behind the scenes.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
    you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Workout for the Week: Dusting for Fingerprints

Memory Verse: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Meditation Passage: Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Do It: Start dusting.