One truth I have consistently encountered in my ministry is that the faithfulness of God is often revealed through the most unlikely of people, places, and events. God’s Word is full of such testimonies and careful study is a rewarding and life-changing reminder of God’s sovereignty and love.
This is why I am excited to partner with Explore the Bible as General Editor for their new study, Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah, three books of Scripture filled with unlikely narratives and profound insight into the kingdom of God.
Providence is God using what is frequently called chance or mistakes to stitch events into a tapestry of meaning. It refers to God’s governance of all events as He directs them toward His intended end. The Old Testament Books of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah provide a beautiful picture of God’s providence over the smallest of circumstances for the purpose of redeeming His people.
Too often we miss rich truths that can be discovered from exploring Old Testament books of the Bible. Ancient peoples and distant lands don’t always appear, at first glance, to be the most relevant for our own situation. Yet we do ourselves a disservice if we neglect the study of God’s dealings with His people under the old covenant. We miss portraits of the God who calls, chastens, heals, nourishes, fights and provides for, and ultimately redeems His people. We too need this God.
In the New Testament, Paul writes that Old Testament things were written for our instruction (1 Cor. 10:11). If a royal butler together with a theologian can rebuild a nation amid staunch opposition, if a peasant girl can become queen just in time to prevent ethnic genocide, we can be encouraged that there is nothing God cannot do.
It is my hope and prayer that this study of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah will strengthen your faith in the God who orders all things for His renown and for the joy of His people.
Dr. Tony Evans
General Editor, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah
Explore the Bible