Day 17: Esther and Job

Two books, two stories, two happy endings but apparently nothing much in common!

Job’s story is a personal one of suffering. He asked God for reasons, passionately, persistently and eloquently. He distained going for a second opinion to his friends; he took his stance before God and there protested his suffering mightily. Overwhelmed at the presence of the Lord and humbled at the majestic and mysterious workings of the universe, he accepted that there were matters beyond his comprehension. His faith is rewarded and his fortunes are restored.

Esther pleaded that the lives of her people should be spared when the Jews were threatened with massacre in fifth century BC Persia. She used her position as the favourite queen of King Xerxes to ask for a favour. Esther had much to lose, for in admitting that she was Jewish she opened herself up to the possibility of being killed as well. She was aided by the virtue of Mordecai her elder cousin who had served the King with distinction. The plot of their enemies failed and God’s people were saved.

How to sum up these stories?

From Job comes the message that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, and from Esther that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. Together these two stories illustrate God’s law and its rewards. As Jesus said:

"You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or wife or brothers or family or children because of God’s kingdom 30will be given much more in this life. And in the future world they will have eternal life." Luke 18:29-30

Will we follow the example of Esther and Job and have our own happy ending?

Ann Peters

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/esther/1.html

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks Ann for an excellent summary of these two books. Job, by the way, is one of my favourite books in the Bible. I love the confidence God has in him at the beginning of the book in the exchange with satan. But how easy for us to doubt God when everything goes wrong, and how easy to protect ourselves in tough situations when others are in trouble. The example of Job and Esther can really inspire us at such times.
    Blessings in Jesus,
    Tim

  2. What a clever and effective way of using these two books to encapsulate Jesus’ summary of the Law. Thank you.

  3. Thats brilliant Ann, to connect Job and Esther in that way! I love it!

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