Ruth and Esther, the only two biblical books that centre on the lives of women, display the hand of a God who works in the lives of individuals to bring about his plan for the salvation of many. Ruth is an outsider who finds a home among the people of God and whose descendants include not only King David, but David’s greater son, Christ the King of Kings.
While Ruth’s story focuses through the mundane dynamics of a peasant family, Esther’s story plays out in the palace precincts of a despotic king. While God’s name is famously never mentioned, we see his handiwork in each twist and turn of the narrative. He uses improbable means and improbable individuals to save His people, and we see that God is on His throne.
Focus on the Bible commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are also useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.
David Strain is Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi. He is Chairman of the Board of Christian Witness to Israel, and Convener of the Twin Lakes Fellowship.
Ruth and Esther are two of the most charming stories in the Bible. Yet these carefully crafted accounts of two faithful women point beyond human factors to the invisible hand of the good and sovereign God. David Strain’s engaging exposition calls people in bitter circumstances to believe that, somehow, God is using all things to save His people and establish the kingdom of His Son.
Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
David Strain has blessed both pastor and congregant by writing this volume on Ruth and Esther. Here is a commentary that exudes pastoral wisdom and heart–directed application flowing from thorough biblical exegesis and theological precision. As these pages are read, the student of Scripture should expect to witness the Lord’s work, not only in the lives of Ruth and Esther, but also in their own.
Jason Helopoulos, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan
Dr. Strain’s Ruth and Esther models careful exegesis, clear doctrinal thinking, and pointed practical application, all the while never failing to show how these two Old Testament books point to Christ. Whether you are teaching or preaching these books or simply want to know God’s Word better, Ruth and Esther has earned a place on your shelf.
Guy Prentiss Waters, James M. Baird, Jr. Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi
In Dr Strain’s flowing prose, both the text and the theological truths imbedded in the text are explained with pastoral thoughtfulness and a deft appreciation of their place within the biblical canon. These are commentaries that preachers will benefit from and all Christians find hugely instructive.
Ian Hamilton, Associate Minister, Smithton Culloden Free Church of Scotland, Inverness