Why the Book of Esther Matters Today

Esther

What in the world does the Book of Esther have to teach the modern Christian? I believe there are three primary things we can learn from this wonderful book.

  • #1 – God uses imperfect people to do important things, even if they don’t realize it

He used the Assyrians to punish the Northern Kingdom. He used the Babylonians to punish the Southern Kingdom. He used a Medo-Persian King, Cyrus, to destroy the Babylonians, even going so far as to call Cyrus “his anointed” (Isa 45:1). He used Cyrus to send a huge wave of exiles back to Israel.

More specifically, He used secular, probably unbelieving Jews like Esther and Mordecai to save the Jewish people from genocide at Haman’s hands. They weren’t “good,” pious and faithful Jews like Daniel, Ezra or Nehemiah. The name of the one, true God isn’t even mentioned in the book by anyone, certainly not Esther or Mordecai – do you know why?

It’s because they were secularists who weren’t very worried about God, His covenant promises, or obedience to Him.[1] If they were, they’d be in Jerusalem helping to put the community back together with their fellow Jews! But . . . God used them anyway. God uses all kinds of people – even sinful and disobedient ones.

  • #2 – God keeps His promises

This book is about how God protected the Jewish people from certain destruction. Satan had been trying to destroy the Israelites, by any means necessary, for a very long time. If Satan had succeeded, Christ wouldn’t have come.[2] After all, Haman’s edict of genocide included all the Jews in Jerusalem, too!

  • #3 – God is in charge of this world

Behind all the free and admittedly un-Godly actions of Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasareus and Haman . . . God was working and was in charge of what was happening. I’ll elaborate on this more as we begin our study of the text itself next time!


[1] Whitcomb wrote, “Why, then, were God’s name and all the theocratic ideas obviously and meticulously avoided throughout the book? It was not because God’s presence was vague or uncertain. Nor was it because thousands of Gentiles died at the hands of Jews. Nor was it even because the Jewish hero and heroine of the book were probably unregenerate. The true reason is that Mordecai, Esther, and the Jews of Susa not only were outside of the promised land but, moreover, were not even concerned about God’s theocratic program centered in that land,” (Esther, 25-26).

[2] “It must not be forgotten that if Haman’s plot had succeeded, not only Jews in Susa but also the theocratic community in Jerusalem would have been wiped out. As Jacob Hoschander observed, no Purim would have meant no Israel, which would mean no Christianity,” (Whitcomb, Esther, 25).

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