A Book with a story within a story

A Mini Redemption: The Story Within A Story

DEVOTIONAL – The Bible’s boring genealogies paint a most exciting story within a story to those who pay attention. 

One of these stories is packed neatly within the book of Esther. 




When the author introduces us to Mordecai – the man who adopted Esther as his daughter – he skillfully weaves a tapestry of lineage to set the stage for the unfolding drama.

It tells us that Mordecai was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, the son of Shimei, and the son of Kish. (See Esther 2:5.) 

It is significant, as Kish was the father of King Saul (See 1 Samuel 9:1). Shimei was one of Saul’s descendants (See 2 Samuel 16:5). The author established that Mordecai was from the house of Saul.




Here, the story starts within a story as we revisit a scene that happened long ago. Saul was disobedient. He failed to put an end to the Amalekites as God told him to do. Instead, he kept Agag, the Amalekite King, and a few of his well-fed sheep and oxen. (See 1 Samuel 15.)




Ironically, the descendant of Agag, the very Amalekite King that Saul spared, emerged on the scene in the book of Esther. His name was Hamman.

This ancient foe of Saul was now the adversary of Mordecai and Esther, scheming against the Jewish people. (See Esther 3.)

Hamman got King Ahasuerus, the Persian King, to write an edict and sealed it with the King’s signet ring to annihilate all Jews. God did not allow this to happen. Esther was married to King Ahasuerus, and she revealed Hamman’s plot to the King. (See Esther 5.)

The King could not undo his mandate, but he wrote another on behalf of the Jewish people, giving them the right to defend themselves and kill whoever attacked them. And they were allowed to plunder and take from those.




Would Esther and Mordecai rise to the opportunity and “make amends” for their ancestors’ failures? 

Saul could not resist to get his hands on some of the goodies. Esther and Mordecai’s people defended themselves, but they declined to plunder their enemies’ goods. (See Esther 9:10.)

Saul sought to oust and murder David, who had been like a son to him. But Esther sought to exalt and promote Mordecai, who had been like a father to her. 




What Esther and Mordecai did was not just a series of actions, but a ‘mini-redemption’ that foreshadowed a greater redemption. 

It was a symbolic act that pointed to the ultimate Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who would one day come to atone and redeem for what the world got wrong. 

‘He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:2, ESV)




The Redeemer did come. Jesus Christ came not to steal or oust us but to bring hope to the world, even in the face of our collective failures.



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