Days 150 and 151 were set aside for reading Esther.
As we begin our read through Esther, perhaps we turn to our friends at thebibleproject.com for their review of this interesting Biblical Book.
As always, thebibleproject.com does a great short video on Esther, and truth be told, they put a much brighter picture on the book than I ever would. Honestly I’ve always look harshly on Esther. It’s not one of my favorite reads through the Bible. There are a variety of reasons to my thinking, and our video highlights on just a few of them.
First – God is never mentioned. I ask is God present in the actions taking place? Maybe? Maybe not? Do Esther and Mordecai rely on God’s wisdom, guidance, and provision? I’m not so sure. While the Israelites are nortorious for straying from God’s ways, this seems to put things at the extreme to ‘let’s ignore God, and hope that God will continue to provide.’ If only there was just one prayer, one petition, one calling out for guidance on God’s behalf . . . then it would be a much better read.
Second – We gloss over the fact of how Esther became queen. Too often its this great zero to hero moment, and it makes for a great cute Children’s Sermon/Bible Story moment. But not so fast. Chapter 2:1-18 spells out the details. The king was angry with is wife. He sought a new one. Virgins were requested. These were given royal beauty treatments. Then, they were given one night with the king. After that the king made his choice. If you aren’t reading between the lines, Esther was prostituted out to win the kings favor, all with Mordecai’s permission and coaching. Again, connecting the dots in my mind, Mordecai becomes her pimp. And this is the stuff we make Sunday School lessons out of!!
Third – The book seems self serving. Mordecai uses Esther’s power to secure the linage of the Israelites. Esther is praise. Mordecai is praised. Both find themselves at a place of honor. This is a bit crass, but I see the mindset of Mordecai, “look what my star girl did for me.” Again, this is the stuff we make Sunday School lessons out of!!
Now don’t get me wrong, Esther is a great read. Drama, Sex, Scandal, Death, and Scheming. It’s all in there. If only, there was some public recognition of God, then, perhaps I’d look at Esther a little bit differently. As it is, it seems more likely something I would have expected to see on the streets of Las Vegas.