A calling rediscovered1
In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
- Esther 8:17
The original job of the Jews was to be a light to the nations. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants were supposed to show the rest of the world what it looked like to be God’s people and to extend God’s great invitation for humanity to return to relationship with him.
Part of the reason the Jews found themselves in exile at the time of Esther’s story was because they had failed to live up to this job description. They mistreated foreigners living among them, acted just like all the other nations, and treated their close connection with God as if it were something to be hoarded rather than shared.
In exile, God’s people often rediscover their calling.
In the story of Esther, we see Mordecai and Esther living with tremendous character amongst the Persians. They show kindness and mercy to the king when enemies are plotting against him. They demonstrate honesty and humility. They show what it looks like when the people of God decide to be the people of God.
When God’s people are who they’re supposed to be, it’s compelling and everyone benefits. There’s a widespread impact and tremendous fruitfulness.
What do you think it means to be God’s people today?