As I prepare to submit this volume, my beautiful bride, Tara, and I will soon celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

Tara, my expression of gratitude first extends to the Lord for giving you to me and for his grace to make each of these years sweeter. When your father entrusted me with your care at the altar, he said to me, “She is such a joy!” He was right. You fill our home with warmth and love. Your laughter is my favorite sound in the entire world. Thank you for putting up with my craziness and quirks. Thank you for bringing needed balance to my life. Thank you for always believing in me even when I do not. Any good that comes from this commentary will be because of your sacrifices and the Lord’s grace. I love you. MTML.

I could not have finished this work if not for the support and sacrifices of my children as well. Thank you, Arabella, for letting me borrow your headphones so I could bring the decibels down to a working level in the loud house! Thank you, Arabella and Adalaide, for checking on my progress and for helping with different responsibilities so I could keep writing. I am thankful for the evidences of the Lord’s grace in your lives. Thank you also to Adoniram and Alastair for sacrificing extra batting-practice time and for praying for Daddy to finish his book! I love all four of you and am grateful the Lord placed you in our quiver.

We are blessed to be so close to so many family members. Thank you to my godly mother, Barbara, my sacrificial sister, Larilyn, my generous and wonderful in-laws, TK and Rita, and our amazing Aunt Frances. Thank you all for loving our children so well and for helping Tara and me in countless ways. I love each of you and thank the Lord for you. Though she is with Christ now, I also remain thankful for my grandmother, Mary Graham, for all the love and prayers she lavished on her little preacher man.

Should the Lord give us this August, I will have served as the lead pastor at The Church at Trace Crossing for seven years. I continue to be blessed to shepherd a faith family who longs for the whole counsel of God’s Word. By God’s grace I am thankful to say, “My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another” (Rom 15:14). May the Lord continue to advance his gospel in and through us for the good of our city and for his glory.

I am blessed to serve alongside some of the greatest brothers; they constitute our pastoral staff and elders. Mitchell, Mathew, Kevin, Jim, Tommy, Matt, and Rob—thank you for your support, your prayers, your encouragement, your sacrifices, and your faithfulness. Mathew and Kevin, in particular, thank you for always striving to rightly divide God’s Word and feed the Lord’s sheep well. Thank you, Mitchell, for making sure we sing the Word. For all of you, I thank the Lord often. Serving with you is one of my greatest joys.

Thank you to David Platt, Tony Merida, and Danny Akin for entrusting me with another volume in the Christ-Centered Exposition series. To be given the opportunity to write about Ezekiel was a grace, but now with Esther I have received grace upon grace. I am thankful for how the Lord has used each of you in my life through these years of friendship.

And now, Father, to the one whom I owe the greatest gratitude: you sought me when I was far away. You gave me ears to hear the gospel and grace to respond. You have been so faithful when I have not. Your goodness to me overflows, and I deserve none of it. Father, I pray you would use this book to make much of Jesus. I love you and say thank you for so many evidences of your grace.

Landon Dowden
April 30, 2018