Purim and the God of Providence

by Dan Sered | February 12 2023

The Purim Story

This year Jewish people all over the world celebrate the feast of Purim at sundown on March 6. Purim commemorates the dramatic rescue of the Jewish people found in the book of Esther—a book in which God’s name is not mentioned, not even once. And as we read this story, it may seem to unfold as a series of coincidences.

Vashti decides not to go to the banquet, and so she is removed as queen. And then out of hundreds or maybe even thousands of young women conscripted into the beauty pageant to determine who the new queen will be, Esther, a Jewish woman, is chosen. What a “coincidence”! But we know it wasn’t—God had raised her up for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).

Then Mordecai is sitting outside of the city gate, and by lucky “coincidence,” he overhears and exposes a plot by two guards to murder the king. Then later, the king realizes that he has never done anything for the man who saved his life—all because he couldn’t sleep. And on and on the story goes.

After so many “coincidences,” you can imagine standing inside the palace as you see Haman—who hated Mordecai and wanted to destroy him and all his people—hanging on his own gallows. Maybe the onlookers are saying to each other, “Wow! These Jews are really lucky people!”

The Truth Behind “Lucky Coincidences”

But none of it was luck. The book of Esther tells us that our God is a God of providence. He’s the almighty God who watches over and protects His own people. For God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). “If we are faithless, he remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13).

I look around at what is happening in this world—war, pain, sickness, and suffering—and it’s easy to feel at times that God is absent. But He is not. Even when His name is not mentioned, God is with us. He is with you if you belong to Him through Messiah Jesus. He is present, not only in the obvious turns of events, but also in little ways that might seem to some like “lucky coincidences.” Not only that, but He can use you in unexpected ways to accomplish His purposes, just as He did with Mordechai and Esther.

So next time you hear someone comment, “That was a lucky coincidence,” you might think of it as a divine opportunity to put in a good word about the God of Providence who cares and is often at work in the most unexpected ways.

Dan Sered is one of our chief operating officers
. He oversees our teams in Europe, Israel, South Africa, and Australia, and is also our interim Canada director.