The next book we’re going to be digging into comes from Ancient times in the Old Testament. No one is sure of the book’s author, written approximately 470 B.C. in Persia, although some believe it could have been written by a man named Mordecai. If you know your Old Testament stories well, I’ve just given it away.
Yes we’ll be looking into a story of courage and leadership, and yes, something of a fairy tale come to life. But it’s more than that. Esther is more than just a story of a Jewish girl who became a Queen who saved her people. It’s more than a storybook romance and it’s definitely not just a book for women to study.
I really hope folks will venture along with us on this next book, whether or not you’re a Bible scholar, a novice or history buff. Or even if you’re just curious about the Bible. Whether you’re a guy or a lady- this book has a ton more than meets the eye for all of us.
The key people in the book are Esther and her cousin Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman. This book gives an amazing picture of God’s love and sovereignty in all circumstances as the Jews who stayed behind in exile even after most returned to Jerusalem after captivity. Babylon was conquered by Persia and Esther miraculously becomes the queen of the land, and saves her people, but that’s just the surface of the story.
Do you realize God’s Name isn’t mentioned at all in the Book of Esther? Why do you suppose that is? And can it still be an inspired book without His Name appearing? YES!
His Name may not be present, but He sure is. Let me interrupt this for a minute and tell you about what we’re studying on Wednesday nights at church for the next while (or at least when Dennis is ok enough to start teaching again). We’ve been looking at something called “Types”. A type is a picture of, or an example of a “type” of something else. In the Bible, especially the Old Testament there are so many types of Jesus, some of them obvious- such as Noah’s Ark, and Moses’s Snake Pole, and some not quite as obvious, yet looking deeper into it, it is clearly there, showing intercession, salvation and restoration through Jesus.
Esther is a book like this that digs deep beneath the story to bring us that type or picture of God’s love and sovereignty, grace and salvation.
I like the way One for Israel’s blog explains it. It’s worth a read, and a little bit of good information and background for next week when we begin with the first chapter.
It’s not a long book, but I sure hope folks will join us every week, get a lot out of it and enjoy!
Have a blessed day all!