March 11, 2017
Last week in our introduction to the book of Esther we asked the question, ‘Where are you God’. Throughout the book of Esther we will see the invisible hand of God at work as He cares for and protects his people.
As we began we looked at chapter one where God was preparing the way for Esther to be chosen as queen and how the present queen Vashti disobeyed King Xerxes unreasonable request and as a result was permanently vanished from his presence.
We begin where we finished last week. There is a four year gap between chapters one and two. Xerxes had led an attack on Greece in 481 BC and suffered a massive defeat.
Read Esther 2:1-20.
As you discern God’s invisible hand at work consider the following…. ‘Out of a population of 50 million in the Persian Empire there would have been an estimated 10-15 million suitable young women. Esther, God’s child was chosen as the new queen! What are the odds for that to happen?
Read and discuss the following…. Proverbs 19:21, 16:1, 9, 20:24, Psalm 33:18-22, 37:23-24, Genesis 45:3-8 (esp. v.3&8).
With these truths in mind how do you see the events of our present day world unfolding?
Read the following….
Esther 2:9,15, 17, 20, 22, 4:10-17, 7:1-6, 8:1-8.
Write down what they tell us about Esther and her godly character. Discuss Peters words, 1Peter 3:1-6 and how did Esther compare?
Compare and discuss the differences between the ‘great banquet’ given in Esther’s honor and the feast mentioned in Esther 1:10-12.
Read Esther 2:5-7, 21-23, 3:1-6, 4:1-2. What do we learn about the following….
Consider the following comments about Mordecai.
Mordecai refused to kneel down before Haman. Jews did bow down to government authorities, at times, as a sign of respect. (Genesis 23:7, 1 Samuel 24:8), but Haman’s ancestors were ancient enemies of the Jews. Israel had been commanded by God to “destroy the Amalekites and erase their memory from under heaven” (Deuteronomy 25:17-19: see also Exodus 17:16). Mordecai was not about to kneel to wicked Haman and, by his act, acknowledge Haman as a god. Daniel’s three friends had the same convictions. (Daniel 3) We must worship God alone. We should never let any person, institution or government take God’s place. When people demand loyalties or duties from you that do not honor God, don’t give in. It may be time to take a stand.#
Why do you think Mordecai told Esther not to disclose her nationality and family background (Esther 2:10) while he did his own? Esther 3:4.
Consider the following…
With virtually no rights and little access to the king, it was better for Esther not to reveal her identity. While boldness in stating our identity as God’s people is our responsibility, at times a good strategy is to keep quiet until we have won the right to be heard. This is especially true when dealing with those in authority over us. But we can always let them see the difference God makes in our lives. #
What are the above events that just ‘happened’ showing God at work behind the scenes?
What do you take from these that helps you to see clearer God’s sometimes seemingly invisible hand at work in your life which will help you in the future to trust that He is looking after you even if the circumstances are saying otherwise?
Is there a situation happening in your life at the present that requires you to ‘faith it’? If so meditate on the above Bible passages in point 2, share with your group and pray about it.
Next week we see the courage of Mordecai and especially Esther as she responded from her faith in God to the Jews diabolic situation and how God showed His foreknowledge and sovereignty.
#Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’