Today is Day 37 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Today we finish up Esther and begin the book of Job. Esther is like a Red Bull – it’s short, but it provides a punch!
Esther is only 10 chapters long, and it’s one of only 2 books of the Bible named after a female. Do you know the other one? (Hint: It begins with “R” and rhymes with “tooth”).
One of the most intriguing things about Esther, however, is that the name of “God” is not found anywhere in the book! Not only will you not read the name of God in Esther, but you also won’t read about the Messiah, prayer, worship, faith, heaven, hell, the Temple, or the Law! So, your first question might be, “Why even include Esther in the Bible?” Many people throughout history have asked the same question, and some, such as Martin Luther himself, have even argued that it shouldn’t be included in Scripture.
I believe Esther to be a very practical and applicable picture of daily life and circumstances. Sometimes we do see God move and work in powerful, mysterious, and miraculous ways. However, more often than not, God works behind the scenes, and instead of seeing God Himself, we see the effects of God at work. Enter Esther…
Esther has always been a favorite book of mine. It’s packed full of plot twists, treachery, villains, unlikely heroes, and surprises. It keeps you on the edge of your seat for all 10 chapters. I’ve taught through Esther twice – once when I was a youth pastor and once with Awaken. At Awaken, I called our study of Esther “God is NOWHERE” because the title so clearly describes the book. At first, you may read “God is Nowhere,” which may be your same reaction when you first read a book of the Bible that never mentions God. However, as you look closer at the title, and the book, the reality begins to emerge: God is Now HERE!
I had just taught week 3 of our study in Esther – a messaged called “The Miss Persia Pageant” – when the flood hit our church back in May of 2010. One of the pictures that sticks in my mind the most is a picture of our sanctuary filled with muddy water with our Esther banner hanging in the background proclaiming “God is Now HERE!”
I hope you found encouragement in your walk with God as your watched Him supernaturally orchestrate the events of the book of Esther. There’s no question that it’s God at work!
Even though His people had been disobedient, and some of them (like Mordecai) weren’t even geographically where they should have been at the time, God loved them and provided for them.
Whatever you’re going through and however distant God may seem, rest in the fact that GOD IS NOW HERE.
Next up: JOB!