I recently talked with the ladies of the LWML about the book of Esther. I began my talk with the following quote by Pascal, and I have still been thinking about it.
‘God being thus hidden, every religion which does not affirm that God is hidden, is not true; and every religion which does not give the reason of it, is not instructive (Blaise Pascal, Fundamentals of the Christian Religion, Part 8, section 585).’
The above is an excellent quote to use when discussing a book of the bible that does not mention God. And it is also an excellent quote to use when discussing the so-called ‘Parable of the Talents’, when it says that the master of the house ‘went away (Matthew 25:15)’.
Whether you say God ‘went away’ or you say that he is ‘hidden’, there is the issue of why that is.
God certainly could make himself more obvious. And when Jesus was here on earth, sometimes that aspect of being the Son of God was more obvious. But it was hidden for most of the time so that the love could come through more predominantly. You see that especially on the cross.
The servant who hides his one talent uses the excuse that he was afraid. Now the master of the house does not deny that he is strict. But he points out to the servant the option he had of giving the talent to the bank and getting some interest at the end—which I am sure would not be very much at all. But that was still an option, and it was much better than putting the talent into the ground.
The master was strict, but that is not the only thing he was. Those who had a few talents and made some more, there were no details given how that happened. But in the end they were given more, much more! The master talks about his joy with them. Those are the ones for which the master’s love predominates. Whether he is hidden or went away, for those servants, the issue of love was important.