Esther now stands before a terrible decision. Should she risk her life to save her people? Isn’t it
interesting how God is silent at this crucial point, as he seems to have been throughout the book so far... or is he?
We think about the sacrifice of the lamb, part of God’s design to free his people from slavery, pointing forward to another Lamb, a greater sacrifice, and a greater freedom from a more profound slavery.
Haman persuades the king to decree the Israelites’ destruction. We would all like to believe that we would resist such an order, but recent history tells us that few do. What does the Lord call us to do?
In our journey through the book of Esther, the tension between the Persian and Jewish identities starts to mount. Mordecai the good Persian prevents Xerxes’ assassination, but Mordecai the good Israelite’s refusal to render homage falls foul of the king’s advisor Haman. We reflect on the exercise of power, the role of victimhood as a group identity, and how Jesus calls us to vulnerability.
God chooses for himself a people through which his redemptive purposes are to be worked out, starting an arc culminating in Jesus Christ. Key themes are Abraham’s offspring, Covenant, land, and blessing.
Adopted by Mordecai is orphaned Esther (name derived from the Persian goddess Ishtar), also known by her Jewish name Hadassah (Compassion), a woman with one foot in each culture. What are the stories our society tells about us, and what compromises do we make to live in a fallen world?
A big picture introduction to the series. Paganism, pluralism, and desire shape king Xerxes and
his society; a context which Esther and her people will find it hard to survive in with integrity intact. Our postmodern society likewise shapes our own desires and actions. It is hard to swim against the stream.
After the horror of Good Friday, Jesus' followers were discouraged, dejected, and confused. But when the tomb was empty, everything changed. History changed. The universe had changed. Because Jesus is alive.
We wrapping up our exploration of the theme of courage (Psalm 27:1) by reading the second half of the psalm: Courage to wait. God works in his time, and sometimes we need the courage to wait and not try preempt the fulfilment of his promises.