We wrap up the Historical Books of the Bible this week with Esther, a story that has it all: romance, an evil plot, suspense, dramatic irony, poetic justice, and more importantly, a happy ending.
Set during the same time period of Ezra and Nehemiah, we follow characters who have remained in Susa, the capital of Persia, instead of returning to Jerusalem after exile.
Esther was written to explain why the Jews celebrate the feast of Purim, a holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman (more on him later).
Esther is an interesting book as the word God is never mentioned, yet we see God’s providence clearly throughout the story.
The Main Characters
The main characters of Esther include:
- Esther (born Hadassah) – An orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai who marries King Xerxes I
- Mordecai – Esther’s cousin; chief minister of King Xerxes I
- Haman – the main villain of the story who devises a plan to kill all Jews
- Xerxes I (Ahasuerus) – King of Persia
My prayer is that you will be encouraged by Esther’s courage and integrity to follow God’s will even when her life was at stake. And more importantly, that you are reminded that God is the one who saves.
Let’s celebrate that truth this month as we read Esther.
Read or re-read our previous blog post on the Historical Books for more information on this time period and genre.
We invite you to join us as we read through the Bible. If you attend service, there will be a reading bookmark for you to pick up at the welcome table. Until then, you are welcome to access the reading plan via this spreadsheet (not as glamorous).
Want to dive in deeper or have questions? Contact me (tawny@RealChicago.com) and I can offer resources and/or a nerdy conversation.