Book Review | Esther: A Woman of Strength and Dignity

One of my favorite series of books was written by Pastor Chuck Swindoll and the series is called Great Lives from God’s Word. I’ve read several of the books in this series and Joseph and Elijah are two of my favorites in addition to this one that I just read, Esther: A Woman of Strength and Dignity. This book gives us a look at God’s divine sovereignty while reminding us that while we can’t always see God’s hand at work…He is always working.

Esther 4:14 has always been one of my favorite verse in the Bible…“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” As we consider the current crisis in our world surrounding COVID-19 and the accompanying coronavirus, how am I living in such a way as to point people to Jesus? Where am I placing my hope? Has the Lord positioned me, my family, and our friends for “such a time as this?” To this day, the Jewish people have Esther to thank for the way she took a stand on their behalf and rescued them from the wicked plans of Haman. The Feast of Purim is still celebrated today as a way for the Jews to celebrate Esther.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Though God may at times seem distant, and though He is invisible to us, He is always invincible.  This is the main lesson of the Book of Esther. p. 2
  • “That God can be known by the soul in tender personal experience while remaining infinitely aloof from the curious eyes of reason constitutes a paradox…” A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 18  p. 3
  • God never knows frustration. p. 3
  • In the Book of Esther, we find God’s power and presence at work through the lives of five people to carry out His will.
    • A King Named Ahasuerus-Esther 1:1-2
    • A Queen Named Vashti-Esther 1:9
    • A Wicked Officer Named Haman-Esther 3:1
    • A Godly Jew Named Mordecai-Esther 2:5-6
    • A Woman of Inner and Outer Beauty Named Esther p. 9
  • How God Still Works in Uneventful Times
    • God’s plans are not hindered when the events of this world are carnal or secular
    • God’s purposes are not frustrated by moral or marital failures.
    • God’s people are not excluded from high places because of handicap or hardship. p. 38
  • Stop for a moment and examine the tapestry of life.  Feel the underside where all the knots and ugly thread tailings are.  Observe the suffering that is woven through the fabric of humanity. p. 58
  • And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 p. 84
  • “Let us brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” Winston Churchill (June 18, 1940) p. 85
  • Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31 p. 98
  • Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 p. 149
  • …forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on… Philippians 3:13-14 p. 175
  • Esther is a story of triumph that grew out of tragedy, ecstasy out of agony, celebration out of devastation. p. 184
  • As we learned in our study of Esther’s story, His hand moves invisibly, yet with invincibility, bringing His sovereign plan to completion.  It includes haunting delays that seem unfair, human decisions that lack compassion, harmful deeds that bring other anguish, and hurtful disappointments that make us question God’s goodness.  Nevertheless, He pursues with persistence and He refuses to be distracted.  In the end, I repeat, God wins. What great comfort that brings! p. 198

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