Book of Esther

Est 1 Haman
In this drawing by Rembrandt Haman is begging Esther to spare his life (Est 7:7).
Haman (also known as Haman the Agagite, or Haman the evil), a vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, traditionally Xerxes I.
As his name indicates, Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, a people who were wiped out in certain areas by King Saul and David.

The words of an old hymn say: “Build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand.”

Another song speaks of being guided by God’s “unseen hand.”

Well, with the book of Esther we have the only book of the Bible consuming no reference to God’s name; yet His unchanging, unseen hand cannot be missed.

Esther, the last of the historical books of the Old Testament tells a dramatic story of a woman caught up in a battle for the Jewish people.

During the days of the Persian Empire, an egomaniacal, high-ranking official named Hama hatched a plan to exterminate all the Jews on earth.

What followed was one of history’s most intrigue-filled accounts of political maneuverings, death threats, shocking plot-twists, and dramatic rescues.

At the center of the action was Queen Esther, who had risen to the throne “for such a time as this” (Est 4:14).

Guided by her relative Mordecai, Esther turned the tables on Haman, and the villain was hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

The book of Esther shows how God’s unseen hand orchestrated the affairs of humanity by providential arrangement.

Esther teaches that God purposely guides our steps even when we’re not aware of it and even when things don’t make sense.

Every thread woven into the fabric of the Christian life is part of the ultimate tapestry that someday we’ll view in glory.

Est 2 Punishment of Haman
Punishment of Haman Michelangeolo (1511) – (Est 7:5-6).

We really can build our hopes on things eternal as we hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Key Thought:

With His hidden hand of providence, God purposely guides and protects His people, even when they’re unaware of it and even when, as in the days of Mordecai and Esther, disaster looms.

Key Verse:

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est 4:14).

Key Action:

Trust the hidden resolutions of God’s providence when you can’t see visible solutions to life’s dilemmas.

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