by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Esther-Courage in Three Acts (8 of 10)
Series: Through the Bible
Roger Thomas
Esther 4:12-16

Introduction: Tonight we consider the last of the historical books of the Old Testament. The book records a story of courage, patriotism, and the providence of God. Esther has also been a book of controversy for theologians. The greatest controversy revolves around the fact that nowhere in Esther does the words God or Lord appear. This is true of no other book in the Bible. The Jews debated this for centuries, even up to our own day. In the Christian world, ''Martin Luther went so far as to say that he wished the book did not exist!'' (Explore the Book, J. Sidlow Baxter). As we will see, this is a false criticism. While the term God is not explicit, his presence and protection is written large on the background of everything that happens in Esther!

Controversial or not, the Book of Esther remains a classic drama. Within its pages, you will find interesting well-defined characters, a beautiful heroine, a terrible evil villain, action, suspense, surprises, and ironic twists and turns to the plot. No wonder the Jews loved to read it and reread it to their young.

Its ten chapters present a story line that present all the best attributes of a three-act play. The plot unfolds in over a dozen distinct scenes. Act I sets the background, the cast of characters and ends in high suspense. Act II outlines the crises and moves toward possible solutions. Act III resolves the problem with the guys in the white hats winning and the guys in black hats receiving their just desserts. Consider the classic story and its memorable lessons.

Act I, Scene 1: About 500 years before Christ, the Jews have started resettling Jerusalem. Many former Judeans, however, chose to stay in their new homes throughout the Orient. King Xerxes of Persia rules the world from Egypt to India. As the curtain rises, Xerxes hosts a royal banquet at his palace in Susa. He displays his splendor and wea ...

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