The Gospel According to Esther
It's a strange story about a morally compromised beauty star, but there's good news in the Book of Esther.
In a previous preaching skills article on PreachingToday.com, Hershael York challenged his fellow-preachers to use their whole Bible in their sermon schedule—even those parts of the Old Testament that make us sweat or cringe. Based on 2 Timothy 3:16 ("All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"), York argues,
Simply put, whatever is in the Word of God has a reason to be there because a sovereign and omniscient Holy Spirit included it for all believers of all cultures and all epochs. Whatever cultural differences or span of time might separate contemporary readers from the text, the promise of the Word is that we can discover something timeless and true in every passage of the Bible. We need not be embarrassed by any part of it.
But of course that doesn't mean it's easy to preach on a tough text. Professor York urges us to ask two key questions about these passages: "What did the story mean in its ...