8. Esther, Part III
Have you ever longed for justice, but it eluded the situation? There is something inside of us that desires a fitting end to every story. We want the good guy to come out on top and the bad guy to pay for his evil. That sense of justice comes from God, who someday will put all things right.
A Precious Word from God
“If I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16 NASB
Day One Study
Review Esther Chapter 7; read 8:1-8.
1. Review the Precious Word from God and their context in chapter 4. Throughout history God’s people have taken stands for the Lord and His people in the face of dire consequences. Record any insights into this from the following verses:
a. Hebrews 11:24-27
b. Hebrews 11:32-39
c. Rev. 12:11—what was the key to their ability to take a stand?
- Diamonds in the Word: Study the story in Daniel 3 of those who determined to stand for God.
2. Sharing question: If there has been a time in your life when God gave you the grace to stand for Him despite the possible consequences, share the experience as an encouragement to others in your group.
3. What was Esther’s request to the king and how did he answer her? (8:5, 8)
4. Contrast the relationship between King Ahasuerus or Xerxes and his subjects (Esther 4:11; 5:2; 8:4) and God’s relationship to His people from these verses:
a. Heb. 4:16
b. Heb. 10:19-22
5. Sharing question: How do these truths affect you personally?
6. Responding to God: Come into His presence with thanksgiving and boldness! Write out your prayer.
Day Two Study
Read Esther 8:9-17.
7. Reread the original edict in 3:13. The new edict did not revoke the old one. How did it deal with the previous edict? Why did it not just revoke the first one?
- Diamonds in the Word: Read in your commentaries or Bible resources about edicts in that day.
8. Contrast how the Jews and the others reacted to the news. (8:16-17)
Read Esther 9:1-17.
9. Reread 8:15-17 and then read 9:1-17, looking for repeated phrases. Repeated words and phrases help identify important points or the theme of a passage. What do you discover from these repeated phrases and words?
10. Add any ironies you see from these verses in addition to those you saw in last week’s lesson.
11. Sharing question: What has God done in your life that you should remember year after year?
12. Responding to God: Pray for God to show you how to remember His blessings and answered prayers. Thank Him right now for some of those.
Day Three Study
Read Esther 9:18-32.
- Diamonds in the Word: Study the modern Jewish celebration of Purim, perhaps online.
13. Who, when, why, and how was Purim to be celebrated?
14. Where did the name Purim originate? (You may need to refer back to the note at the top of Day One Study of Lesson Seven.) What is ironic about the Jews naming their holiday Purim? (9:23-26)
15. Why would you say celebrations like this are important?
16. From the example of Purim, do you learn anything that you can apply within your own family?
17. Sharing question: Share with the group an occasion you celebrate with your family which is particularly meaningful.
18. Responding to God: Pray that you will always celebrate the blessings of God. Thank Him for a blessing that you are enjoying today.
Day Four Study
Read Esther Chapter 10.
19. What would you consider the secret of Mordecai’s greatness?
20. Read God’s comments about various Old Testament people in Hebrews 11:1-31. Which story speaks to you about how to achieve greatness? Why?
- Diamonds in the Word: Use other resources to look up Mordecai.
21. Sharing question: If your life were over tomorrow, what would be your epitaph? What specific steps can you take in your life today to increase the possibilities that you would be remembered as great?
22. Responding to God: Write a poem or prayer about your epitaph.
Day Five Study
Review the book of Esther.
23. What qualities did you see in Esther and how were they evidenced in her life?
24. How did you see God use Esther in His timing and for His purposes?
25. Sharing question: What do you learn from Esther to apply to your own life?
26. What does the book of Esther teach you about God?
27. Responding to God: Take the time to praise Him for each truth you wrote down about God.
As we think about remembering God’s great work in our lives through celebration, Dakan shares her story of a family wedding that reminded them of God and His care and work.
Eleven family members (ages 6 months to 84 years) traveling together to a foreign country to join 70 friends for my son’s wedding. Stress is high! I WANT to be in control of travel schedules, hotels, restaurants, clothing and even our snacks!! Months into the organization, I realize I must release this to the Lord. I wanted Him to be a part of it, but I had to step back, ask Him and allow Him. I had to have trust and faith in God’s desire for this wedding celebration – not mine. He deserves such glory for reveling Himself in our family times together of a never before closeness. He opened closed eyes and gave light to darkened hearts. The words at the ceremony spoke to young friends who desire a Godly foundation for their lives. Leaving the country after the wedding festivities, I was in awe of how our Lord was so faithful, how His hand had touched so many people and how we had received a peace and abundant blessings because of His care of us.