So Esther arose, and stood before the king.

With Haman’s plot against the Jews looming, Esther put on her royal robes at the command of Mordecai and stood in the inner court of King Ahasuerus’s palace in front of the king’s rooms. And the king was sitting on his royal throne. Esther’s entrance was a seriously huge deal, since she had not beenContinue reading “So Esther arose, and stood before the king.”

More valuable than many sparrows

In the British Museum, you can visit The Taylor Prism, which lists the campaigns of King Sennacherib of the Neo-Assyrian empire, until the start of his final war against Babylon. Notably, the prism includes a description of Sennacherib’s dealings with Hezekiah, King of Judah in 701 BC. As for the king of Judah, Hezekiah, whoContinue reading “More valuable than many sparrows”

The Work of God in King Ahasuerus

Theologians discussing the book of Esther often summarize its purpose like this: All people can benefit from reading Esther, as it reminds us that even when it appears that God is absent, he is still at work in our lives and will not abandon his promises while we are living in a confusing and broken worldContinue reading “The Work of God in King Ahasuerus”

The Word of the Lord came

In Genesis 1, the Triune God speaks the world into existence as His Spirit hovers over the surface of the waters. King David brings the Creation account into sharper focus, declaring, “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host” (Ps. 33:6). I’ve written already about the breathContinue reading “The Word of the Lord came”

Songs of deliverance surround you

There is no step that God’s people have taken, no moment in our journey towards the land of Promise, no command given to us, that the Lord Jesus has not Himself completed but in perfect holiness. Christian, rest in Christ’s completed work today. Grasp hold of the peace of His Perfect Wisdom. The waters ofContinue reading “Songs of deliverance surround you”

Iron Sharpens Iron

I have previously written about the Bible’s symbolic use of iron, which is predominantly negative. In 1 Kings 8:51, for instance, God tells us that Tubal-Cain’s metalwork belongs to the slave-holders of Egypt, “that iron-smelting furnace.” Iron is the joy of giants, descendents of the serpent, like King Og of Bashan who slept on a bedsteadContinue reading “Iron Sharpens Iron”

Valley of the Cluster

Thus says the Lord,“As the new wine is found in the cluster,And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’So I will act on behalf of My servantsIn order not to destroy all of them.Isaiah 65:8 I am so fascinated by the fruits of the Bible, especially grapes. It was the Nazirites that first drewContinue reading “Valley of the Cluster”

Esther’s Banquet

I am so hostile to this book [2 Maccabees] and Esther that I could wish that they did not exist at all, for they judaize too greatly and have much pagan impropriety. Martin Luther Poor Luther. The book of Esther is indeed peculiar and perplexing, particularly to us Gentiles. But part of the genius ofContinue reading “Esther’s Banquet”

Esther found favour

When we meet Esther, who comes to mind but Rachel, mother of Israel, likewise “beautiful of form and face” (Gen. 29:17)! This is no mere coincidence, not just a common manner of talking at that time. Through Rachel and Esther, the Divine Author is pulling on the female narratival line that carries us from theContinue reading “Esther found favour”

Ruth and Esther

Ruth and Esther are the only two Biblical books bearing the names of women. This alone draws our eye to them, asks us to consider them together. By the time we get to Ruth, God has already primed us many times over to watch closely for women, to trace their place in the Bible’s storyContinue reading “Ruth and Esther”