IT’S THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
It comes from Janet TeBockhorst Page, who wins a free, signed copy of one of my books.
Here’s her question:
What happened to Esther after she saved her people?
Here’s my answer:
I don’t know.
Esther goes off the grid.
Perhaps she went back into the Persian harem with the king’s stable of wives—who knows, maybe a hundred wives or more.
King Solomon had a thousand. And his kingdom was a Mom and Pop Shop compared to the Persian Empire.
Here’s the reason I picked this question:
Writers, agents, and publishers sometimes get rich and buy ranches by answering “I don’t know” questions as if:
They were talking
Based on Bible insights alone, we don’t know
- what heaven is like.
- what hell is like.
- when Jesus is coming.
- if he’ll come like some religion experts say he will, or if he’ll surprise religion experts. Again.
- if “end-time” Bible prophecies mean our generation will be the last one.
People are naturally curious. They want to know details that God has not made known.
There are writers and publishers willing to provide those missing details, creatively imagined and portrayed as God’s Honest Truth.
I am so not there.
I’m as curious as anyone. Perhaps more than most when it comes to the Bible and God.
But there’s a point at which someone really ought to say to us, “We don’t know. Get over it and get on with your life.”
One publisher asked me to write a book about heaven.
I said no.
They pressed me a little.
I explained why I said no.
I write easy-reading books about the Bible for non-Christians and nominal Christians—Bible newbies.
The Bible doesn’t say enough about heaven for the kind of books I write.
I could certainly report on near-death experiences. I’ve written articles about that, and a few chapters in a book. But near-death experiences isn’t what the Bible says about heaven.
I don’t know that one person’s near-death vision represents what heaven will be like for you or me.
I’ve been studying the Bible and writing professionally about it for nearly four decades, and I can tell you this: when it comes to the Bible and all things God, there’s a whole lot more “I don’t know” in me than there is “I know.”
I didn’t used to be okay with that.
I’m a journalist at heart. Curious. Intrusively so, sometimes.
But I’ve come to appreciate “I don’t know” when I know it.
I’m sorry that I don’t know what happened to Esther, that beautiful Jewish orphan who became the Queen of Iran—Persia in Bible times.
But I’ve got good news about what I do know.
I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 1:12 NJKV).
That’s archaic English.
I would never try to feed that to Bible newbies. I put it here for old-timers who read this blog, because Paul’s words, written from prison shortly before his execution are powerful for those of us who have been singing these words in a hymn all of our lives.
For Bible newbies, here’s what I know:
I know who I trust.
In the meantime, if anyone turns over a rock in Iran and finds a family portrait of Esther, the king, their kiddos and a camel, I’ll be blogging that like crazy.