One of my favorite books of the Bible is Esther. I highly recommend working Esther into your devotional life. If you have time, read it all in one sitting- it’ll only take 20 minutes, and with the gripping story-telling approach of the text, it’ll fly by.
I recently re-read Esther, and being a Christian school administrator, perhaps not surprisingly, I had Christian Education on the brain. So here are my 3 thoughts: The Book of Esther and Christian Education.
- Sovereignty: God is in control- whether or not He’s acknowledged. Esther is the only book of the Bible that doesn’t mention God (depending on your version of choice, Song of Solomon might also fit this category). Yet despite not being named, you can make the strong case that God is actually the main character! The way that His plan unfolds through the book is unmistakable. God is able to work through a lustful, drunkard King, an orphaned Jewish girl, her wise and opportunistic cousin/mentor, and work through a variety of remarkable circumstances to save His chosen people. Read by itself, this is a great story. Understood in the “Creation/Fall/Redemption” context, and knowing that Esther winds up in the genealogy of Jesus, gives this story a whole higher level of appreciation. God ultimately worked through these people to bring about His perfect plan of salvation in Jesus Christ!
Eastern Christian School Application: I’m so blessed that my children are at a school that recognizes God’s sovereignty. My kids are taught that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” They’re taught that “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!‘” Through the full integration of faith and learning, my children- even at their young ages- are learning to view the world and all of human history through the lens of scripture and to see God’s faithful hand throughout history. He is the same yesterday and today, and will be the same tomorrow- they can rest assuredly in this hope.
- God loves to work through “The least of these.” My favorite line in the entire book comes from chapter 4:14: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” That’s Mordecai pleading with Queen Esther to use her seat of influence to help accomplish salvation for God’s people. Esther rose through the ranks of an ancient “Miss Universe” pageant to become the Queen. And despite her natural beauty, it’s hard to imagine a more unlikely candidate. Esther was an orphaned girl from an enslaved people. Under normal circumstances- particularly in the ancient world, someone like this NEVER becomes royalty. But God loves to work through the outcast and the overlooked to accomplish His perfect plan.
Eastern Christian School Application: At Eastern Christian, students are taught that all human life has intrinsic value because we are created in the image of God. Through a carefully selected Bible curriculum, students see example after example of God loving, working through, and honoring society’s downcasts. Furthermore, the very mission of EC is to “Empower students… so that they can act as Christ’s transforming agents in a global society.” In other words, we’re intentional about training up a generation of Esthers- working to accomplish position of influence- not for their own glory- but to do the work of the Lord. Empowering young people to act as Christ’s transforming agents?! Sign me up!
- Patience, Faith and Courage are characteristics that all Christian leaders need. Esther had to go through 12 months of “beauty prep” before she was even allowed to see the King. Her status as Queen was no “given.” She had to prepare, train and learn what her mentor Mordecai was telling her. So when Esther’s big “Such a time as this” moment came, she knew what to do! The King admired her so much that he offered Esther “up to half of his kingdom” on three separate occasions. But Esther didn’t take the bait. She had the courage and faith to act in the direction that God was calling her- to save His people.
Eastern Christian Application: That favorite verse of mine “For such a time as this,” actually skipped over the first part: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place…”. We’re back to sovereignty. Mordecai is saying, “Esther, God will work through you in this moment in this position right now- if you allow yourself to be used in His service. But if you don’t, God will find another way.” And because of Esther’s training, patience, and courage, she didn’t miss the opportunity! It should be the heart’s cry of every Christian parent to have their child trained in true Biblical faith and courage in preparation for their own “Such a time as this” moment. The moment could be a defining moment like it was for Queen Esther, or it may be through the quiet witness of a Christian life lived to God’s glory. Whatever path God has chosen for my kids, I’m so grateful that every day at Eastern Christian, they are trained to be strong and courageous and to live by faith to the glory of God. I can’t think of a more important calling than to partner with a Christian school like EC and train up my children in the way they should go!