Setting the scene…
The book of Esther is a many sided diamond and light reflects off of it in so many different directions that it’s going to take a lot of digging to really see the true treasure; and we won’t be able to see all of it because it is a characteristic of God the Father to keep things hidden. In this way, the search continues and we as his children get to play heavenly ‘hide and seek’ with the wonderful word of God. With that being said, there’s still plenty to run after in our quest to plumb the depths of Esther.
However, just a brief word on my perspective and the lens with which I use to look at this book. For me, it’s always been a ‘bridegroom book’ and what I mean by that is simply this, the central theme is the preparation of a bride for the King. This can also be said, to a great extent, about the books of Ruth and Song of Solomon and I think Esther, as a book, belongs with those neighbouring texts. We have a strand of three wisdom books that all have the bride and bridegroom as central themes. But of course it’s also true to say, the bridal theme does not stand in isolation. In all three of the books mentioned, bridal preparation, love and intimacy are themes within themes and in the preparation of the bride there are huge and significant themes running parallel. Take Ruth for instance, it’s true to say that through this book, the Holy Spirit is surely revealing the theme of preparing the bride; Ruth becomes a type of the church and Boaz a type of Christ. We can’t, however, ignore the fact that the book of Ruth is also about redemption and restoration amongst many other things. Boaz is the bridegroom redeemer and Ruth, through the love and wisdom of Boaz, experiences restoration. The church, like Ruth, has been purchased and redeemed but the church is redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The church, through the love and wisdom of Jesus, is also being restored but she is being restored into truth and foundation stones are being reexamined, in some cases re-laid and re-set.
My point is this: the bridegroom revelation, that of Jesus Christ as our bridegroom King is central to these three books and we’re here to delve deeper into the book of Esther. But let’s also look at this issue of multi layered themes from another perspective. Let’s look at it from today’s perspective because the same thing is happening. The bridegroom theme is emerging in the church, slowly at times and often hidden away from the mainstream but it’s there. It whispers to us in quiet corners and sometimes, to me at least, it seems to emerge from the background just to let us know it’s there. I am thoroughly convinced that this message may be spoken in hushed tones in quiet corners in the current season but it will soon take centre stage, the bride herself and the necessary accompanying revelation of the bridegroom king is going to become fundamentally important in the culture, values and teaching of the church in the coming season. But, just like in the book of Esther, Ruth and Song of Solomon, in the world today there are other issues. Esther and her people the Jews faced extinction, so deliverance becomes another major theme of the book. We too, face persecution and are being politically marginalised as a result of the spirit of the age we’re living in. But at the same time, the bridegroom revelation is emerging. The bride in the Song of Songs was abused by the watchmen and there has been a failing and falling short in the church to treat the bride with proper care and protection. But she also enters into intimacy and becomes united with her bridegroom lover. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the theme of the bride of Christ is emerging during a time of crisis in the world and the church. There are many horses running together but it is our joy and privilege to take some time to simply gaze into the word and take a closer look at this enigmatic book of Esther and try to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church in this season.