When Things Seem Hidden Away

Last night was the celebration of Purim among the Jewish people and those who embrace the Jewishness of our faith in Yeshua.  I have been reflecting on the story of Esther again and after reading a post at another blog a little bit ago it hit me a little harder.  We often get the impression that we must be in the spotlight to help others, so much so that many in our culture tend to seek out fame or influence as a means of “helping” people.

I am thinking of the young sports talents who look to “get big” so they can “give back” by helping others and those who seek celebrity and so on and so forth.  But we don’t have to be a celebrity or wealthy or of huge reputation to be involved in Kingdom business.  In fact, God delights in using those who are of no reputation.

Esther is unique in that God’s name does not appear anywhere in the text.  God chooses to work “behind the scenes” and out of view in this story.  In the book of Esther, Mordecai does a great service to the king by revealing a plot against his life; and while it would seem that it is Esther who is the “spotlight” person of influence, it is Mordecai, the unnamed fasting Jewish people, and most importantly God (whose name never appears remember), who are key to the story.

God may seem hidden at times.  The book of Esther and her story, reminds us that even when God seems hidden, He is still at work.  He is always at work.  Let us not be tempted to think that in order to accomplish big things we must be big.  God does not need the biggest or the most well known to accomplish His purpose.  He doesn’t even need you.  Rather, He will use the things that are hidden away, unknown, or of no reputation far more often than not.


Categories: Bible Thoughts, Christianity, church, devotional, Discipleship, Faith, Giving, Hebrew, Kingdom, Love, ministry, Yeshua | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “When Things Seem Hidden Away

  1. The first thing that came to mind when I read the title of this post was the bread and the wine, and the water of baptism.

    Simple, ordinary, earthly things that God has decided to use for His great purposes.

    They may not look like much, they may not seem like much, but when God’s Word is attached them, Gid is at work for us. Yes, He is a hidden God, but he is at work in often subtle and mundane ways.

    Thanks, Jeff.

    PS- I know you won’t agree, you being a Baptist and I being a Lutheran. But that’s what came to my mind.

  2. Love the book of Esther! It’s chock full of wonderful twists and revelations.

    I’ve heard studies done where YHWH appears in the text through equidistance letter sequences, etc., among other names. Need to dig into that for myself.

    Still, even without that, I still love that book and one of these days I’d like to do a study of it.

    Thanks Jeff!

  3. Steve,
    You make an interesting point in this respect. If Lutherans in fact consider that God has “hidden away” within these elements, then perhaps some of them should learn to be more gracious toward those that “can’t see” it yet.

    I know you to be very gracious, but sometimes there are those who frequent your blog that go a little overboard (maybe even a lot overboard). I obviously don’t agree with the Lutheran view of the sacramental theology of baptism and communion, but it does not mean that I demean or disregard or heaven forbid ignore those things. I look forward to the day when our arguing over the things we see “through a glass darkly” and disagree about is replaced with knowing and being known by our Father.

    Shalom to you my brother.

  4. Joe,
    I am sure that would make a fascinating study. If I run across any good resources, I will be sure and let you know.

  5. Jeff,

    Here’s the thing; no one can see it (Him). We live by faith. We trust in His Word. When He commands us to eat His body and blood, then we can trust that He is in it. I don’t feel any different after I take communion. But I trust in His promises, and that bread and wine accompanied by His Word are the true body and blood. How? How should I know? But I have assurance in the Supper. Assurance that I belong to Him, no matter my feelings, or not matter how I might be doing. it doesn’t depend on me.

  6. Steve,
    I had just wandered over to check in at your blog and noticed that you just did a post that echoed some of the things I mentioned in that previous comment.

    Here’s the thing; no one can see it (Him)

    That isn’t the impression I get from some of the discussions I have participated in comments on posts at your blog in the past. Some of the posters are adamant that the fact that I “don’t get it” if you will, is proof that I am misguided at best or heathen and antichristic at worst.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that only trust in His promises is sufficient. I noticed that I haven’t seen Larry around the comments on your blog recently, but he is the one that always tends to take it “next level” beyond trust in my opinion.

    Theology is important, but our best shots at theology are woefully underwhelming in their understanding. That trust in God, who is faithful, is a common ground we can certainly agree on.

  7. It’s a matter of trusting God’s Word.

    Christ commanded it, so He’s in it. He said this IS my body, this IS my blood…so we take Him at his word.

    Larry and I don’t agree on some things (but the real presence is not one of them). He believes in guarding the Sacrament and keeping people away from it until their doctrine is right, and I (we) believe in giving it to those who do believe that the Lord is present in it, and that He gives us forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, in the meal. We invite all baptized Christians ( who believe the aforementioned) to come and receive it, whether they are Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, or whatever.

    And since “we live from faith to faith” (as the Bible says) we don’t think we got all that stuff one time, a long time ago, and that’s good enough (‘we’ve got better things to do now’), we feel we need to hear it (the Word) and receive it in tangible form, over and over and over again.

    Anywho, you understand more about it than do many (mabe most) Lutherans do. Whether you believe it, or not.

    Thanks, Jeff.

  8. And since “we live from faith to faith” (as the Bible says) we don’t think we got all that stuff one time, a long time ago, and that’s good enough (‘we’ve got better things to do now’), we feel we need to hear it (the Word) and receive it in tangible form, over and over and over again.

    Not to nitpick (well maybe a little, but in a light hearted way), there are certainly some things that you think you got “a long time ago” and that’s good enough, i.e. baptism, unless you guys have changed views on rebaptism and I missed it.

    As for communion, we do that quite regularly, although not as often as Lutherans do, so that is still not a point of difference either. And on the matter of receiving the Word, I would encourage “immersing in it” daily through reading it and would never advocate leaving it behind either.

    I know what you are getting at, and I am not trying to make light of it. We often have to be reminded of the basics no matter how far we have come. But that should never keep us from maturity in my opinion and that is what happens to some who continually dwell on such things.

    Thanks, Steve. I always enjoy our discussions. Someday we can forget them completely before the throne of our Savior and Lord. 🙂

  9. Naw…it’s not nit-picking. You just need some clarification. Quite understandable,

    For Lutherans (some of us anyway), baptism is not one time event that occured somewhere back there…and then we move away from it.

    It is a state of being. Baptism is like a ship that carries us along through life. It never leaves us or recedes. That’s why Luther said that we ought return to our Baptisms, daily. We ought live in it.

    For us it is an act of God that keeps going. It is a promise that is alive and constantly assures us of the great thing that God has accomplished for us.

    It’s like the Israelites returning to the places where God actually did something for them. Bethel, Shechum (my spelling is probably wrong).

    So we too, return to our Baptisms over and over and over and it carries us and gives us assurance totally from outside of our own faith, or belief, or seriousness, or behaviors…it’s extra nos..all from God, to us. This gives me great comfort and assurance.

    Hope that helped a bit.

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