Even when God’s name is taken out, God is still working

There is a wave of anger tinged with fear trying to rise in certain circles. With what seems like a swift insurgence, the pressure is mounting in America against Christians. I say “with what seems like” because if we are being honest, the attack on Christianity has not happened overnight as some would propose. Rather, it has been a slow chipping away of purity and goodness in America. Christians have been comfortable for far too long, and comfort often has a way of blinding us to the dangers that lurk around in the dark.

As a parent raising teenagers, I sometimes find myself thinking, Things sure do look different for my children than they did for me. But, is it really? I grew up as a teenager in the mid-80’s – early ’90s. Madonna was scantily clad singing lyrics such as, “Papa don’t preach I’m in trouble deep” (in response to a crisis teen pregnancy) and “like a virgin touched for the very first time.” Michael Jackson was singing “she’s just a girl who claims that I am the one, but the kid is not my son.” Movies like Animal House, Porky’s, and Sixteen Candles were shaping the minds and choices of teenagers. Long-haired metal bands were wild and very open about their drug and alcohol use. Parents couldn’t track their child’s every move on the Life 360 app. Pornography, while not as easily accessible, was available and not only was it available, pornographic magazines lined the shelves of every convenience store and grocery store for any, and every, eyeball to see. Bullying existed, even if it was deemed “normal childhood behavior” and it was sometimes harder to find out about because it was much more hidden (no one could screenshot the bully that backed you into a corner every day during gym time when no one else was looking).

To add to all that did exist then, the rise of more television channels, including MTV, created faster access to media. CD’s and VHS tapes allowed a person the opportunity to listen to songs and watch movies over and over. No longer did one need to wait for a song to come on the radio or a show or movie to air. It was “on-demand.”

Fast forward to today and instead of being a people who are required to patiently wait for the seasons to change, we can get access to almost anything at a click of our fingers. We think we are in control of our lives and everything around us. Yes, it may seem that way on a superficial level, but the sovereign God of the universe is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Just because our lives today move at lightning speed, doesn’t mean God changes His ways.

That’s a surreal thought, right? I mean, if our lives today look so very different from the lives of those who lived 1,000 years ago, how in the world is God still the same? Doesn’t He have to change to keep up?

Nope, He doesn’t.

God is constant. God is sovereign. This is true today and will be true tomorrow. God is still God whether we acknowledge Him or we don’t. God still causes the sun to rise and set regardless of whether we say His name in public or not, and regardless of whether it is allowed or not.

In the book of Esther, we see the heart of a man who hated God and hated His people. Haman was an Amalekite, and Amalekites were sworn enemies of the Jews. Haman wanted nothing more to destroy a man who refused to bow down to him and seize the opportunity to take revenge on the Jewish people. Haman was consumed with power and pride. Haman’s position got him access to the king and the king issued a decree upon Haman’s urging.

But God, even if He is never mentioned in the book of Esther, was at work. What looked like doom for the people of God turned into a victory that is still celebrated to this day by the Jewish people. How amazing is that?

God allowed Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, to overhear the plot concocted by Haman and approved by the king. Who is Esther you may ask? Some of you know who she is because a lot of attention is put on Esther. After all, the book is named after her. But Mordecai, he was someone who slowly and wisely did his job in a place that was very hostile to the Jewish people. He lived in a city that had very little Jews, relatively speaking, and was not overly nice to the Jewish people. Mordecai served as an official to the king and took the time to understand the Persian laws and how things got done but did not compromise his integrity.

Because Mordecai knew the Persian law, he knew the edict by the king could not be taken back. He responded in the only way he knew how; Mordecai “tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly” (Esther 4:1). Others throughout the provinces did the same. But Esther, holed up in the castle, didn’t know what was going on until her maids and eunuchs told her about Mordecai’s behavior. She responded not by asking what was wrong but by trying to send Mordecai some clothes. Sometimes removing ourselves from our people and living among people who don’t share our values tends to numb us to what really matters. Even after Esther finds out what is troubling Mordecai, she responds by saying doing anything on her part would be her death sentence, and she wasn’t signing up for that. She was a queen, after all, and had made her way in the world against all odds as an orphaned, Jewish girl.

Mordecai wasn’t giving up. He had taken Esther in and he was about to lay some guilt on Esther. Mordecai responded to Esther, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape” (Esther 4:13). Mordecai quickly brought Esther back down to reality. Esther was a Jew and the edict was for all Jews to be killed. The king had not made an exception for her.

How would you have responded?

A better question for you today is, how will you respond?

There are lots of Hamans running around the world today. And, a lot more in America than there used to be.

What I love about the book of Esther is that God’s name never needs to be mentioned because God was associated with the Jewish people and the Jewish people with God. The two were not separate. When Esther finally came to her senses, she responded in the way Jews responded; she fasted. Not only did she fast, but she also said her servants would fast and she told Mordecai to tell the Jews to fast. Fasting was always accompanied by prayer in preparation for something. Esther was taking three days to prepare herself to go uninvited before the king. Without submitting a prayer request, she told the people to fast. The people knew the severity of what was taking place. They would know exactly what to pray. Esther needed courage and she needed favor with the king.

And after three days, she got both.

Eventually, Esther was able to tell the king about Haman’s wicked plot to kill the Jews. And, the king figured out how wicked Haman’s heart truly was. Haman was hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. However, even though the king learned of Haman’s wicked plan to kill the Jews, he couldn’t take his edict back. That’s like a gut punch. So, what then? Esther risked her life for nothing? The Jews were still going to be killed?

Not in God’s plan. This whole account in Esther is a huge interplay of God’s sovereignty and human will. How will people react when push comes to shove? Will people fight for what is right? Will people stand up for God and His people despite what could happen to them?

Just like then and just like now, God prepares the place and His people must choose to act.

The king sent out a new edict “granting the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves” (Esther 8:11). Not only was there a joyous celebration because of the new edict, “many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them” (Esther 8:17). The non-Jews knew something big had happened and Someone was on their side. Even before the account in Esther, we’ve seen this time and time again in the Bible. People saw the power of the people and knew it was God, even if they didn’t follow God.

I always hate this next part because I think, I get that the king’s original edict couldn’t be taken back but really, the Jews still had to fight? There was still going to be bloodshed. The Jews were spared but those who came against them were not. And, even though they had been permitted by the king to take the plunder of their enemies, they took none of it. Mordecai was promoted to second in rank to King Xerxes and was esteemed by his fellow Jews because he “worked for the good of the people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews” (Esther 10:3).

No doubt, there were issues of the day facing Esther, Mordecai, and the people living in and near the city of Susa. But the issue that took front and center was hatred toward God’s people. That wasn’t something God was going to stand for. Slowly and methodically, God put all the players into place and waited for them to act. Because make no mistake about it, if they didn’t, God would find someone else who would (just as Mordecai said to Esther in 4:14).

What does this mean for Christians today?

Maybe this means it is our time. Maybe you are the Esther or the Mordecai of this generation. Or, maybe you are just one of the Christians who have been called to fast (and pray) for three days. Either way, we will all be required to assemble and protect ourselves because if we don’t, we risk losing what many of us hold dear (and sometimes take for granted). The Jews were to be killed. We may not have that edict issued for us today, but we might have more and more laws enacted that impact our Christian values and way of life. That cannot happen on our watch. We cannot have our children or grandchildren asking one day, “What in the world were they thinking when they just sat back and let all of that happen? Did they not care or think about us?”

People and the government can take God out of whatever they want, but just because they don’t say His name, it doesn’t mean He isn’t still here. He’s still working and He is still wanting to use those that are willing to stand with Him. Will you?





Abortion Alcohol Ashkenazi Beer Blogger Blog Christian blogger Daniel Loeb Drinking Gay Marriage Holocaust Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Margaret Sanger New Year Paul Singer Private Sin Public Sin Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Spirits Tim Gill Wine #Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 2019 2020 2023 2024 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Against the Grain Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson Alcohol All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Amanda Guyger Amber Gugyer American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Soaking Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashkenazi Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Austin Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Beer Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Botham Jean Brandt Jean Brian barcelona Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Broken People Broken things Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Cancel culture Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon quotes Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christian Radio Christian blogger Christian blog Christian podcast Christianity Christian Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Contentment Content Cool Christianity Coop Coronavirus Corrie ten Boom Country Club Covid-19 Covid19 Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Daniel Loeb Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Don't Give Up Don\'t Give Up Don\\\'t Give Up Don\\\\\\\'t Give Up Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Drag Queen Reading Hour Drag Queen Drinking Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time to Turn Off the Darkness Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Esther Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Evil Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gay Marriage Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes Get Out of the Tree GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God's Not Dead God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie Growth HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Healthy Habits Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Helper Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holocaust Holy Spirit Holy Week Holy Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Is It Our Garden Moment Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus clubs Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Jimmy Valvano quote Jimmy Valvano Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Just Ask Erin Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kingdom Winds Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Legacy Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Margaret Sanger Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America NYC Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Blog New Year New York City NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Word One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Overcome Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Paul Singer Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Persection Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Progressive Christianity Progressive Promised Land Prophetic Word Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Rebuild America Red Cup Refrain Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revealing Darkness Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Say His name Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Soak Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spirits Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Checkup Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Such a Time As This Supreme Court ruling Surrender Swim Upstream Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Tenacity Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Depot Podcast The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Tim Gill Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Upstream Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wine Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worry Creates Pause Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah 'Tis the Season abortion adoption america anger authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children christians conversation crystal buck culture issues culture war culture densensitization depression divorce don't scroll don\'t scroll don\\\'t scroll east everlasting faithandforgive.com faithandforgive.org faithandforgiveness.org family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgivegod.org forgiveness forgive four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks god's approval governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heart condition heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer legalism lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed myhopeamerica.org nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution posture prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness sharethemessage.org spiritual health spiritual maturity spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus students thanks the Bible the Seed the depot podcast with erin olson the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust truth unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting watch why is it so hard to be a christian today? widow's oil workplace ministry