Sermons on “Esther”

Such A Time As This

This story takes place in a particularly dark time for God’s people.  About a hundred years before, the Israelites were conquered and taken from Judah into exile.  The temple in Jerusalem was demolished.  While the Persian king had recently started allowing Jews to return to their homeland, there was very little to return home to.  Many Jews remained in Persia as strangers in a strange land, trying to obey God and live their lives in exile.

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For Such A Time As This

Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, giving orders to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. Scripture can be quite grim at times. This is why Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. Mordecai was a Jew. What I just read for you is the order that was written by the King at the request of Haman. Haman hated Mordecai and he paid the King so the King would write this decree to annihilate all the Jews in the country.

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My People

The story of Esther is one of the great stories of the Bible. It has intrigue, humor, danger, and victory. It is the story that sets up the Jewish festival of Purim, which is marked with great celebrations and public readings of this very story. But there are a few things that this story doesn’t have: namely, it has no mention of God. Martin Luther once said that he wished the book did not exist at all for this reason. However, if we were without Esther’s story, we would be without a story of themes that are central to our faith, even if our faith is not specifically named. The story of Esther is a story of boldness in proclamation, of unified identity with all believers, of confidence in God’s guidance, and ultimately, salvation.

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