I am very grateful for Daniel Henderson taking the time to provide this foreword to Esther’s Gospel, The God Who Is There.
Foreword By Daniel Henderson
Tim Merwin has delivered an unexpected treasure from an underestimated text in Esther’s Gospel. Since I first met Tim several years ago I have admired his passion for Jesus, enduring faith and incredible love for the church. Having read Esther’s Gospel, I am astounded by his clarity and, frankly, his courage in unpacking such relevant truth from the often-dismissed book of Esther – a book that even Martin Luther thought was “quite underwhelming.” No more.
As Tim has admitted, “Some assign the book of Esther to stay within the walls of the children’s ministry. Others view it as nothing more than a good moral story, for such a time as this. And, to others, Esther has all the pieces to be little more than a cute Christianized Cinderella romance novel. After all, there’s the powerful and wealthy king, a royal palace complete with lavish banquets, and, we must not forget, the beautiful maiden in distress. Furthermore, our little story includes the drama of divorce and the pursuit of a new, young and beautiful wife.”
But as you will soon discover, the story of Esther has compelling relevance to our lives. Some have wondered, “Where is God in the story of Esther?” As Tim points out so practically, many of us are asking right now, “Where is God in the story of my life?” This book provides a riveting and solidly-biblical application of God’s truth and presence in your comfort, in your suffering, in your uncertainties and in your questions about the out-of-control world in which we live.
The greatest spiritual failure in any life is to reject the gospel of Christ. One of the most tragic spiritual mistakes for a Christian is the neglect of a gospel mindset in all of life. Without this mindset, a believer fails to see and savor the glory of the gospel in the entirety of the Bible. While many would place Esther at the bottom of the list of gospel-oriented books, Tim masterfully and meaningfully elevates the profound and practical value of this inspired story. He also provides us with new eyes to see the gospel with fresh gratitude.
John Piper has written, “The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.”
I believe as you read Esther’s Gospel you will truly “Behold Your God!” Old obstacles will be removed and a new savoring will emerge in your soul. As he concludes, Tim offers us the hope and challenge that we will treasure Christ, grow in Christ and proclaim Christ. As we embrace this we have rediscovered the core essence of God’s plan for us on this earth. We will have fresh faith to recognize God in our story. And we will find ourselves re-engaging with God in HIS story. Be assured, it is a profound and purposeful story. A story we are privileged to experience and exhibit for Christ’s glory.
Founder and President – Strategic Renewal International (strategicrenewal.com)