The achievement of the American dream can be compared to the ascent of the beautiful common girl Hadassah to become Queen Esther of the mighty Persian Empire over two millennia ago. But attaining prosperity is not the essence of the similarity. Nor is the admirable bravery displayed by that young woman, even though our Clara Barton or our Harriet Tubman were of the same courageous spirit.
The most striking similarity lies in Heaven’s unmistakable, beneficent, and precise intervention in America’s affairs.
Esther’s people, already in diaspora, faced an implacable enemy named Haman. He was a favorite of the ethically malleable Persian court, bent on the destruction of the Jews. A wicked manipulator, Haman implemented a plan by which he hoped to commit genocide while exalting himself in the eyes of the Persian king. But the manipulator himself “got played.”
The Old Testament book bearing Esther’s name records the divine orchestration of all the circumstances and events, down to the smallest details, which foiled Haman’s plan. From the previous uncovering by Esther’s cousin and guardian Mordecai of two would be assassins of King Ahasuerus, to the petulance of Esther’s royal predecessor, to the answered prayers of Esther and her people, to the perfectly timed and poetic justice meted out to Haman, to the way a day intended to be one of merciless murder and pillage was turned into a festival observed to this day (Purim), we behold the heavenly Conductor’s invisible baton rendering for us an exquisite symphony of providential deliverance.
In their noble founding document, the signers of America’s Declaration of Independence, men for whom the book of Esther would have been a familiar resource of spiritual comfort, confessed their “…firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” And the story of America is strewn with instances of unmistakable, beneficent, and precise intervention from on high.
The settlers of two of the earliest American colonies likely would have not survived without the help Heaven sent them in the persons of Tisquantum (Squanto) in Massachusetts and Pocahontas in Virginia. In A.D. 1746, a French armada sent to destroy the colonial American coast-land was itself destroyed by a freak storm so powerful that the windows in a church (where Americans were gathered to petition Heaven for deliverance) fell off.
One of the most amazing instances involves Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold and how his plot was exposed. General George Washington had this to say about that crucial discovery: “…the providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the Liberties of America are the object of divine Protection.”
So the annals of America and its heroes are like the Bible’s account of that Hebrew heroine of antiquity and her nation. America appears to be a favorite of Heaven’s righteous and merciful court. This great nation, recognizing divine supremacy, has been a servant of Heaven. It remains to this day a conduit through which superlative blessings come to the rest of the world, in whose eyes America remains a great beacon of hope.
If Heaven favors our country, how can my affections be contrary? I love America because by Heaven’s grace she has defeated many wicked “Hamans” and survived many efforts to destroy her. I am persuaded that America the beautiful will continue to do so.