Esther

SCRIPTURE READING:  Esther 4-5:8; 7-8

SITUATION:   Spurred by his hatred for Mordecai who refused to bow and pay homage to him, Haman, the Agagite, whom King Ahasuerus promoted, issued a decree to every province to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.  When Mordecai learned about this decree, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth.  This was told to Queen Esther and she sent garments to clothe him but he refused them.  Esther learned the cause of Mordecai’s distress when he spoke to Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs and sent the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan.  Mordecai wanted her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.

QUESTIONS

  1. What was Esther’s response to what Mordecai wanted her to do? (Esther 4:10-12)
  2. What was Mordecai’s reply? (verses 13, 14)
  3. What instructions did Esther give? (verses 15, 16)
  4. What was Esther’s attitude toward what she was about to do? (verse 16)
  5. What did Esther do on the third day after the praying and fasting? (Esther 5:1)
  6. What happened when the King saw Esther? (verse 2)
  7. What was Esther’s request? (verse 4)
  8. At the banquet, what did Esther request? (verses 7, 8)
  9. What was Esther’s petition at the second banquet?  (Esther 7:3, 4)
  10. What was the king’s reaction to the petition? (verses 5-7)
  11. What became of Haman, the enemy of the Jews? (verses 7-10)
  12. How does Esther save her people? (Esther 8:6-14)

INSPIRATION

Esther was born a Jew named Hadassah and was an orphan raised by her cousin, Mordecai.  Her true identity was kept secret.  She became queen when Queen Vashti was dethroned and the king was in search of a replacement.  The king loved Esther but that love was tested when she was told to appear before him unsummoned on behalf of her people, the Jews.  At first she was hesitant to go to the King but Mordecai’s words struck a cord in her.  She couldn’t keep silent and watch her people be destroyed when she was in the position to do something about it.  It took courage for her to go before the king whom she had not seen for thirty days.  She could have easily have lost her life for breaking protocol.  However, she had to draw strength from the same God who had placed her on the throne.   For three days she and her maids fasted and prayed.   In faith she appeared before the king and he held out his scepter.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Why was it important that Esther kept her identity a secret?
  2. How is Mordecai’s warning to Esther that should she choose not to act, God would save His people by other means similar to what actually happened to Barak?  (Judges 4:6-9)
  3. How does Esther’s decision to help her people reflect Jesus’ obedience to the Father? (Philippians 2:18)
Queen Esther