Esther is longer than you likely have to read this morning, so I encourage you to set aside some of your Saturday to read the whole book in one sitting. It is a fascinating account with all the elements that make for the best of stories. I hope that you will do two things.

  1. Enjoy your reading. Go ahead. Enjoy simply reading the Bible. Enjoy that God saw to it that this amazing story was recorded for us to read.
  2. Watch for the unspoken, divine hand of God preserving and protecting His people in the face of utter destruction.

From the introduction to the Esther in the ESV Bible:

The book of Esther never mentions God’s name, yet God clearly orchestrated all of its events. Esther, a Jew living among the exiles in Persia, became queen of the empire in about 480 B.C. Haman, a Persian official, sought to eradicate the Jewish minority, but God had prepared Esther “for such a time as this” (4:14) to save his covenant people. The book was written some decades later to document the origins of the Jewish observance of Purim, which celebrates Israel’s survival and God’s faithfulness. The author is unknown, but some believe it could have been Esther’s cousin Mordecai, who is a key person in the book. Throughout the book we see God’s sovereign hand preserving his people, showing that everything is under his control.

Now that we have looked at Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, click on this infographic below and see how much of this timeline you are able to identify.