Even when it feels like he is absent, God is always at work behind the scenes. Although the book of Esther contains no direct references to God, his fingerprints are found all over it. The book traces the unseen hand of God, working through the lives of his people to deliver them from destruction. In God Behind the Scenes, Wayne K. Barkhuizen examines the strange yet gripping story of Esther, pointing out how it’s still relevant today. He shows how divine Providence was active in preserving the people through whom the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would one day come.
Wayne Barkhuizen has done the Church of Christ worldwide a great favor with his book God Behind the Scenes. Here is an excellent presentation of the message of the book of Esther. Written simply and very engagingly, Wayne puts Esther in historical perspective and also succeeds in putting flesh and blood on all the characters in the story. This book is a great reminder of the providence and sovereignty of God over all of life and his special care for his own people. This is an altogether helpful book that will not only be a great help to individual Christians but also helpful for those who meet in group studies. I highly recommend it.
—Rt. Rev. Frank Retief, former presiding bishop of REACH-SA
Wayne Barkhuizen has written a highly readable and insightful guide for individuals or groups studying the book of Esther. The reflection questions are sure to inspire some lively thought—and debate! I can recommend it highly to Bible readers who want to begin digging deeper into this fascinating narrative.
—Anthony Tomasino, author of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Esther and Evangelical Exegetical Commentary: Esther
“Throughout the book of Esther God appears to be glaringly absent; he isn’t named or mentioned. In fact, he is conspicuous by his absence!2 But as the story unfolds, with all its unexpected twists and turns, we as readers are confronted with events that unmistakably point to God’s invisible presence throughout. After all, who else is capable of orchestrating such remarkable—and even unbelievable—twists and turns that always favor the preservation of God’s people, the Jews? The only logical conclusion is that God is profoundly present even when he appears to be absent. This is reassuring and comforting for God’s people of all ages: He is always present and never absent, even when his presence isn’t obvious.” (Page 2)
“We are also reminded that nothing ‘coincidental’ ever happens in life. Even if the lot has been cast, seemingly reflecting the will of the ‘gods,’ nothing should deter us from trusting the true God to vindicate his people and so fulfill his ancient promises. Even though our situation may seem impossible, he will fulfill his purposes; nothing can thwart his plans. He will demonstrate his vast superiority over all other powers and over any plots.” (Page 48)
“Mordecai demonstrates surprising loyalty to the throne by passing along news of this secret plot to Queen Esther, who in turn informs the king. Mordecai shows no hint of hostility against this foreign king, even though he himself is Jewish. His exposure of the plot showcases his trustworthy character and his respect for the authority of the throne.” (Page 40)
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.