For weeks we have been talking about the warnings that the ancient Hebrews received from God. If they continued to act as though they didn't want a relationship with God, regardless of what they said, eventually they would get what they wanted. And they did. First the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the southern kingdom of Judah was invaded, Jerusalem was sacked, the temple was demolished and the best and brightest were taken into Exile in Babylon. Years later, some of them returned to Judah, but not all of them. Some of them made a new life for themselves in Babylon, which God had invited them to do. The story of Esther takes place more than one hundred years after the Exile. The Jews in this story are not people longing to go home. They are descendants of immigrants, citizens who are nonetheless still recognized as "different." They are working out the complexity of living as the people of God in a foreign land.