Are the Good Times Really Over?

A Deeper Look Into Perspective & Attitude


Emma Stevenson

Cross on a Bible

Emma Stevenson, Writer

When people are doing easy things they act like the king of the world, but when they are challenged, they tend to throw their hands up and say I can’t. In life, people need to figure out how to do all that they can and let God handle the rest. People never give credit to God for good things they just get upset when bad things happen to them.  

In the Bible in the book of Esther, there are three heroes: God, Mordecai, and Esther. Mordecai and Esther were two Jews living in Susa. In the king of Persia’s drunken madness, he disposes of his wife, makes a decree that all men be masters of their homes, and then hosts a beauty pageant to find a new wife. Esther hides her Jewish identity, enters the beauty pageant, and wins. The king is so obsessed with Esther, he makes her the new queen of Persia. After this happens Mordecai saves the king’s life. Then we are introduced to the villain Haman. The king elevates Haman to one of the highest positions in the kingdom and demands that everyone kneel before him. When Mordecai sees Haman, he refuses to kneel which makes Haman very angry. Haman finds out that Mordecai is Jewish and persuades the king to enact a decree to destroy all the Jewish people. So, Esther and Mordecai make a plan for Esther to reveal her Jewish identity to the king and ask him to reverse the decree. However, approaching the king without royal request was an offense worthy of death. So, to sum it up Mordecai is confident that even if Esther remains silent deliverance for the Jews will arrive from another place. Then Mordecai wonders aloud who knows maybe Esther has become queen for this very moment. Esther responds bravely and goes to the king after saying “If I perish, I perish.”  

Often throughout people’s lives when great things happen they only credit themselves. They fail to see the work of God.”

Esther hosts the king and Haman at a first banquet and says that she wants to make a special request to both of them at a special banquet the following day. When Haman leaves the first banquet very drunk, he sees Mordecai in the street and fumes with anger. Haman orders that a tall stake be built so Mordecai can get impaled on it in the morning. It seems that things cannot get any worse for the Jews or for Mordecai. That night the king could not sleep so he had the royal chronicles read to him. He just happens to hear about how Mordecai had saved his life. Which he had completely forgotten, so in the morning when Haman walked in to request Mordecai’s execution the king ordered Haman to honor Mordecai publicly for saving the king’s life. The next day Esther hosted another banquet. Esther informs the king that first of all, she is Jewish, and second of all that Haman has enacted a decree to murder not only her, but Mordecai who saved his life, and all the other Jews. The king ordered that Haman be impaled on the stake that he had made for Mordecai. However, Haman’s death does not reverse the decree to kill all the Jews. Mordecai and Esther discover that the king cannot revoke a decree that he has already made. Instead, the king commissioned Mordecai to issue a counter decree. On the appointed day that all the Jews were supposed to be killed, the thirteenth of Adar, the Jews are ordered to defend themselves and destroy anyone who plots to kill them. The decree day comes and the Jews triumph over their enemy killing all of Haman’s family and anyone else who plotted against them. Then Mordecai is elevated to second in command in the kingdom and the Jews continue to thrive.  

Through all the twists and turns in this story, the craziest thing is that God is not mentioned one time. Even though God is never mentioned. It is easy to see his work. All the “coincidences” that happened throughout the story like Esther winning the beauty pageant, Mordecai saving the king’s life, the fact that Haman and the king both did not just kill Esther when they found out she was a Jew, and Haman being killed were not coincidences. All these things were God at work. But God never gets credit for these things.  

Often throughout people’s lives when great things happen they only credit themselves. They fail to see the work of God. When life gets hard people tend to throw their hands up and say I can’t. Esther and Mordecai never threw their hands up. Neither one of them were people of power. The only thing Mordecai and Esther did throughout their story was what they could do and they saved an entire nation.  In today’s society, people refuse to see what can be done. Every day people run around panicked like chickens with cut-off heads because we only see the negative in everything. 

Throughout our lives instead of just throwing our hands up and saying we can’t, we need to do what we can and let ourselves see God do the rest.”


As a society, instead of just doing what we can, we want to sit around and sing “Are the Good Times Really Over” by Merle Haggard. When Merle Haggard wrote this song America had been in a fairly rough patch. America had just gone through the Vietnam War, and President Nixon had just been on television to tell everyone that he was not a crook. The time period of this song was not America’s best time period, but throughout the song, Haggard complained about the same things we complain about today. “I wish it was back when the country was still strong.” “I wish it was back when men could still work and still would.”, “Is the best of the free life really over?”. As a society, we see the bad in everything. Instead of being thankful for the abundance of wealth we have as a country, we wallow in misery because our nation is a snowball heading straight to doom. Throughout our lives instead of just throwing our hands up and saying we can’t, we need to do what we can and let ourselves see God do the rest. As a society, every day we fail to see God working, and that is why we as a nation are so negative. 

My dad tells a story/joke about a guy who moves to a new town. The joke goes: this guy sits down in a café next to an elderly man and says, “Hey I just moved here what’s this town like?” The old man replies, “Well what was your old town like?” The guy starts complaining about his old town and how people were just so rude and how he couldn’t trust anyone because everyone would stab him in the back if they were given the chance. After that the old guy goes, “It’s kind of like that here.”. Later that day another guy that was new to the town walked in and sat next to the elderly man. The new guy said, “Hey I just moved here what is it like?” The old guy replies, “Well what was your old town like?” The guy starts going on and on about how great the people were and he could count on anyone to help him. After that, the old guy says, “Yeah, it’s like that here.”. The moral of the story is the environment a person puts himself  in is the environment he will get. If all a person wants to do is be negative and sit around and sing “Are the Good Times Really Over” then that is what that person is going to do. If a person going to be a positive person that is willing to do what they can and is able to see God working in their life then that is what they are going to be.  

If people could just give glory to God during the good times in their life and trust that He will take care of them in the bad times then the world would not seem so bad. “Because the best of the free life is still yet to come and the good times ain’t over for good.” People must do all they can and give thanks to God for doing the rest.