Esther: God’s Hidden Providence

I’m going back to Esther and writing through the book (the same way I’m doing in John) so that I can process my study of it.  I find that things “stick” better when I think through them and have to set them down on paper.  So to the cyber void all of my (2) readers, that is what I am up to.

The theme of Esther is: God’s Hidden Providence.  At least that is the theme the way I see it.  Sure there are other thematic elements, and important ones too; there is the thematic element of reversal of fortune; deliverance; the origin of Purim; and two conflicting world views, one of which will lose out, but ultimately as Karen Jobes (STOP! reading this article now and go buy her commentary on Esther—you can thank me later) points out: The major theological point of Esther is that throughout history, God fulfills his covenant promises through his providence.

How do we see God’s providence in Esther? (Karen Jobes’ list I think)

  • Esther being chosen queen over every other candidate (2.15-18)
  • Mordecai discovering the plot to kill the king (2.21-23)
  • Casting lots for the day to destroy the Jews resulting in a date late in the year, giving time for Mordecai and Esther to act (3.7-15)
  • The king’s welcome to Esther after ignoring her for a month (5.2)
  • The king’s patience with Esther in permitting her to hold another banquet (5.8)
  • The king’s insomnia that brought to light Mordecai’s deed of kindness (6.1) – and the turning point and hinge of the whole narrative.
  • The king’s apparent lapse of memory 6:10-14, that led him to honor one of the Jews he had agreed to slay
  • The king’s deep concern for Esther’s welfare, when he had a harem to choose from (7.5ff)

Here is the best short summation of the theme of Esther that I could find:

The book of Esther, then, serves the purpose of showing Divine Providence overrules all things; even in a distant, far country, God’s people are yet in His hands  (Young).

Why, dear reader, is that important to you?  Where do you live in regards to the promised land?  How visible is God actively and obviously working in your life and culture?  Seems pretty silent, doesn’t he.  Sort of like….thinking….thinking….THE BOOK OF ESTHER!! And that is why Esther is so relevant to us here in America, that and about a hundred other things which I will get to.

I LOVE the book of Esther.  Love!

 

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