Monday, October 01, 2007

That is the sound of inevitability

Today was my first full day on campus at Exeter University. Alex and Andy spend a lot more time there than I do, but it's an honour for me to spend some time serving the CU. Today that meant meeting with Joe in Refresh Starbucks in the Students Guild. We're meeting to study the Bible together.

Ordinarily I'd start by studying Galatians, but he went through that last year before starting University. And so, we turned to the obvious book for two men to read together: Esther!

Esther has a reputation, like Ruth, for being one for the girls. Esther is held up as an example for many and the book carries her name. But, there's a problem with that. Mostly because the book has to be about God, more specifically it testifies about his great plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. The question, as with every other book in the Old Testament, is how? The problem is amplified because the book makes no mention of God...

Why then do I love to study it?
1. Story. It's brilliantly written true story - events occur in the presence of a rash despot king, two flawed-heroes emerge to overcome the villan. Yet it's events set in motion by the word of God centuries earlier drive all that happens.
2. Genealogy. It's key is in genealogy, which a Bible-geek like me finds interesting - follow the threads through the scriptures and see the whole thing tie together. That'll strengthen your doctrine of scripture if nothing else.
3. Promises.
It points us towards the scope of God's salvation plan, looking back to Abraham, to the Exodus and to the reign of King Saul - and then forward to the completion of God's promises in Jesus. How? Read it and see!


  1. I have an inclination towards shorter books because they're easier to get a feel of - next up has to be Lamentations or Song of Songs I think. I'd be interesting sitting in starbucks and reading either of those!

  2. Not sure I'd be brave enough to read Song of Songs with someone else in public!!

  3. One of my least favourite CU series ever was 10 weeks, a chapter per week on Esther. It's a great book. But it really is all about one thing. As we discovered.

  4. I think you can sustain Esther in three parts but more than that is way too much.