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Question and Answer

How do we see God’s providence in the book of Esther? Does this story have anything to do with our lives today?

Providence is evident throughout the book of Esther in the events that initially appear to be coincidences. Esther just happens to find favor with the royal official in charge of the beauty contest (2:8–9). Mordecai just happens to overhear the plot against the king (2:21–23). The notoriously fickle King Xerxes just happens to point his scepter at Esther in welcome (5:1–3). The king just happens to have insomnia, and the selected reading just happens to be the account of Mordecai saving his life (6:1–2). Haman, the genocidal maniac and hater of Jews, just happens to perish on the same day that he planned the genocide of the Jewish people and on the same gallows that he prepared for Mordecai (7:9–10). As the so-called coincidences pile up, it becomes ever clearer to the reader that actually God’s hand is moving and working through these events to save His people.

What does this have to do with us today? The book of Esther has several important lessons that apply to our lives. First, we see that God was active in preserving the Jewish people so the Messiah Jesus could come as the son of David, the son of Abraham (see Matt. 1:1). God would not allow Haman’s wicked scheme to succeed, for He had promised to send the Messiah through the line of David. This Messiah Jesus provides the way of salvation and a right relationship with God for each of us who believes in His name.

Second, the book of Esther offers us proof that God is active in all lives of all believers, caring for us, accomplishing His purposes, and protecting us. Even when we fail to be faithful, God is still working in our lives (in ways that we might describe as “behind the scenes”) out of His great love and faithfulness to His promises (see Rom. 8:28). Third, the book of Esther reminds us that God is faithful to preserve and protect the Jewish people today and always, a great comfort in this time of growing anti-Semitism. Despite the slaughter planned by Haman and all those who have followed in his footsteps, God will still prevail to save His people.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line. He is the author of Understanding the Arab Israeli Conflict and The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? He is also the co-editor of the Moody Bible Commentary. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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