“…that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfillled.” Luke 24:44
Today, I hope to give you just a glimpse into the revelation of the Messiah in the Ketuvim, otherwise known The Writings. As we discsussed before, the Hebrews considered these books in three categories: 1) Poetic which included Psalms, Proverbs, and Job; 2) The Five Scrolls which include Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther; and 3) Other Books which include Chronicles, Ezra/Nehemiah, and Daniel.
It is interesting to note the book I’m reading makes a strong point that the books of the entire Old Testament included in the Hebrew Bible were purposely chosen with the idea of a coming Messiah in mind. Furthermore, individual sections were arranged with this theme. Recall how we see a baton handed between The Law and the Prophets and between The Prophets and The Writings. And that baton was the Messiah.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that The Psalms were likely arranged in the period between the Jews being taken captivity to Babylon and Jesus’ appearance. Of all the Hebrew songs that must have been out there, only these few were selected. Why? When taken as a whole, one can see a pattern of the coming Messiah.
Of interest to me is the book of Esther. You probably already know this, but a liberal Christian that I know, whom I would say is NOT demonstrating any evidence of being born-again biblically, used to jab me that Esther doesn’t even mention God in it. That apparently was proof enough that God wasn’t so concerned about what we believe, but more importantly, his love encompassed (and saves) all of us.
This is short-sighted nonsense with the sole intention of legitimizing sin. What this person totally missed is not that God turns a blind eye but of God’s overarching providence to keep his word. The fact of the matter is that God brought on a slaughter to his own people because of their disobedience, BUT he didn’t wipe them out entirely. Why? Because of his Coventants.
Abraham: Genesis 22:17-18 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
David: 2 Samuel 7:12-16 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”
These were UNCONDITIONAL covenants, one that God would keep DESPITE the actions of the nation or individuals.
Having said that, it would seem that the people of Esther’s day forgot to even mention God in their penning of the story, but God didn’t forget about them. Why? Because he wasn’t done with the people of Israel. He still isn’t to this day and never will be because he has a purpose for them. In the end, they will believe, but until then they won’t. Each will be judged accordingly, but the nation will always survive. God may punish his people severely, even to the point of a mere renmant remaining, but he will never break his promise.
It’s interesting to note that Mordecai and Esther acknowledge something big but don’t give God credit.
Esther 4:14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
So, you see, this story fits into the canon of scripture because it is part of God’s divine providence to keep his word. And that word included a Messiah who was yet to come.
See how all this ties together? Indeed, the Old Testament is a collection of books that point to the Messiah. This theme is far more important than the long list of names or how to weave temple fabric. The fact that a king would one day come is really what the collection of books is all about. Purposely so.
Let’s not forget that we, also, are awaiting our Messiah. One day, perhaps even today, he will return. In the meantime, we are so much better off than the Jews. Why? Because Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us now. That’s the New Covenant that was talked about in the Old Testament. For more on that, see my previous post.
By the way, God isn’t just working through the Jews. He’s also working in the lives of each believer and in his church. Let me give you an example:
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Father, how wonderful is all this! You weave your story in and out for your divine purpose. Let me see this in my life as I look for the return of my Messiah! Amen!
Source: The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy pp. 128-131