How The Book of Esther Is About You (@JamesPrescott77 #digidisciple)

Queen Esther as imagined by Edwin Long in 1878, sourced from Wikipiedia.

Queen Esther as imagined by Edwin Long in 1878, sourced from Wikipiedia.

This month I’m taking a look at the book of Esther. As much as you can in 500 words anyway. So then, where do we begin? Well before we fully examine the story of Esther, we need to ask the obvious question. Of why it got in the Bible at all. You see, one thing which is often missed in the book of Esther, is a person who is not directly mentioned in it, though often implied.

God Himself. 

So then, why put it in the Bible? If God’s not mentioned, why keep it? OK, maybe you can argue it’s a story of the redemption of the Jews. But nevertheless, you’d think God would be mentioned somewhere, if it’s getting into sacred scriptures. 

But He’s not. So why else would Esther get into the Bible? Well let’s take a little look at the story.

A King called Ahasuerus doesn’t like the potential implications of his Queen refusing a request. He fears it will empower women. Threaten the male power base. So, because he is the King and he can, he kills her and has her replaced. 

By Esther. 

And Esther ultimately becomes one of the greatest examples of female leadership ever seen. She single-handedly saves the Jews from an act of genocide.

This book is about the story of God using a woman to save His people from destruction. A women stepping out boldly and risking her life for her people.

It’s often assumed the Old Testament is completely patriarchal. Male dominated. All the great leaders of God’s people are men. We hear about Moses, David, Solomon and others. And those who hold to traditional or complimentarian theological viewpoints not only misinterpret Paul’s writings, but paint a big picture of a patriarchal Old Testament.

Wrong. And the book of Esther is a prime example of why. 

This is a book which says God can use anyone. It’s not just about God empowering women it’s not just about the redemption of Israel – though it is about those things – but bigger than that, the book of Esther is about God empowering any minority group. 

It says to us God can take anyone of any race, gender – or sexuality, you might argue, in our context – and use them to serve His purposes and lead His people.

Here’s a suggestion. Maybe, just maybe, the people who decided what would be in scripture, read this story and knew it’s bigger implications. Knew that God was in the business of empowering all of us to serve Him – and saw this story as a powerful, historical example of this.

This is the power of Esther. 

It’s why this book is still as relevant now, in a world of different ever increasing numbers of races, genders, sexual preferences, as it’s ever been. Maybe even more so.

And this is why the book of Esther will continue to have power for generations to come. It should be an inspiration to each and every one of us. 

God can use you. Whoever you are. Whatever gender, race, sexual preference you might be, whatever your history, God can use you

Here. Now. Today.

If you believe in the principles I speak of, I would encourage you to support the cause by tweeting this post with the hashtag #YesAllWomen – which is about empowering and encouraging women to be who they were created to be, and supporting the rights and freedoms of women across the world.

About James P

James Prescott (@JamesPrescott77) is a writer & creative living in Sutton, near London in the UK. He blogs regularly at www.jamesprescott.co.uk on issues concerning social media, gender and the divine journey of life. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesPrescott77