Posts in Esther
What Kind of CELEBRATION Will God's People Have?

Esther 9:20–10:3

Sermon Notes

  1. A celebration of rest and reversal
  2. A celebration so we remember
  3. A greater celebration they awaited and we have

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is something in your life right now that you are looking forward to finding some rest and relief from?
  2. What is a situation in the past in which you did receive rest and relief from it?
  3. How have you seen God provide for you in the past in a hard or trying time?
  4. Why are we so prone to forget the ways God has provided for us in the past?
  5. How has Christ guaranteed for us eventual freedom from our present struggles and trials?
What kind of VICTORY will God’s people experience?

Esther 9:1–19

Sermon Notes

  1. The Fear of an Overlooked God, vv. 1-4
  2. The Fulfillment of Godʼs Overlooked Word, vv. 5-16
  3. The Feasting of Godʼs Overjoyed People, vv. 11-19

Reflection Questions:

  1. God promised to preserve His people so that the seed of the woman could ultimately defeat the seed of the serpent (Gen 3:15), though He never promised that God’s people would be free from physical harm, including martyrdom. If God cannot ultimately protect us from physical harm, where is our comfort? (See Romans 8:18–39, especially vv. 18, 35, 38-39)
  2. The background of Esther 9 (especially vv.10, 15, 16) is found in 1 Samuel 15, where Saul was commanded to destroy King Agag, the ancestor of Haman the Agagite (see Esther 2:5; 9:24; 1 Sam 15:3, 8). What was Saul’s sin? What did God mean when he said, “to obey is better than sacrifice”? (See 1 Samuel 15:17–23)
  3. Are feasts simply a time to look back on what God has done? Or are they also a chance to look forward in anticipation of more blessings? Consider one thing Jesus said about the Lord’s Supper, which was both a transformation of the Passover feast and an anticipation of something great to come: Luke 22:17–18. (Also see Isaiah 25:6–9 and Revelation 19:6-9)
EstherChris KrychoMatt Giesman
What Kind of TIMING Will God Display?

Esther 8:1–17

Sermon Notes

  1. Favor and Riches, vv. 1–2
  2. Pleading and Respect, vv. 3–6
  3. Conundrums and Riddles, vv. 7–10
  4. Defense and Repayment, vv. 9–14
  5. Gladness and Rejoicing, vv. 15–17

Reflection Questions

  1. Are God’s people special? Special because of who we naturally are, or special because of something God has done? (See Dt. 7:7-8) Why has God chosen us, blessed us, or made us special? (See Gen 12:3; I Peter 2:9 – Focus on the word “that” which reveals the purpose behind God’s actions.)
  2. Read the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8). Compare and contrast this woman to Esther’s actions in Esther 8. What lesson is Luke 18 trying to teach us about our prayer life (see vv. 1, 5, 8) and about God’s disposition towards us (see v.8)?
  3. Despite Mordecai’s confidence that God would deliver (Esther 4:14), God does not tell his people how he will deliver them until Esther 8:11. Even then, God does not tell them directly; they only find out from the king’s 2nd edict. Read Deuteronomy 29:29; do we know everything there is to know about God? (cf. Rom. 11:33-36) Can we trust God even if we don’t know everything there is to know about God?
EstherChris KrychoMatt Giesman
What Kind of JUSTICE Will God’s People See?

Esther 7:1-10

Sermon Notes

One point for each verse:

  1. Same Song …
  2. … 3rd Verse
  3. Currying Favor
  4. Cutting to the Chase (Finally)
  5. Kingly Outrage
  6. Curtains for ‘the Enemy’
  7. The King Cools Off (maybe), while Haman Grovels
  8. Haman’s Groveling Backfires
  9. Harbona’s Helpful Cameo
  10. Poetic Justice and Propitiation –

Reflection Questions

  • Read Numbers 6:24-26 (the blessing/benediction of Aaron) and Psalm 67:1-5. Why has God blessed his people? (Considering reading the next question before you answer this one.)

  • Esther risks her life for the sake of her people. She gives a voice to the voiceless, help to the helpless. Is this merely a description of what happened, or is it an example the Bible wants us to follow (based on this passage AND the rest of Scripture)? Consider: Prov 31:8-9; Romans 15:1ff; Romans 5:6, 8. 

  • I once heard someone say: I want mercy for my sins, but I want justice for the sins of others. Does that describe the way you feel about sin? Read Mt 18:21-35 and see what Jesus has to say about this topic. 

What Kind of HONOR Will God's People Receive?

Esther 6:1-14

Sermon Notes

  1. A Beautiful Deed Remembered, vv. 1-4

  2. An Ugly Delusion Nurtured, vv. 4-9

  3. An Overdue Demise Begun, vv. 10-14

  4. An Overdue Honor Bestowed, vv. 10-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. Mordecai’s good deed (Esther 2:21-23) was forgotten, and he was suffering unjustly. Do you ever feel like God has forgotten you and His promises to you? Do you think other Christians have felt the same way? (See Psalm 42-43. See Matthew 19:27ff; Matthew 20:1-16, especially v.13)

  2. Part of Haman’s problem was that he could let go of his bitterness against Haman. (See Esther 5:13.) Many have said, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” How does that play out in Haman’s life? How has it played out in your life? Is there anyone against whom you harbor bitterness, whose forgiveness you need to seek?

  3. Why are Haman’s friends and wife so confident that Mordecai’s Jewish ancestry will allow him to prevail against Haman? (See Esther 6:13. Compare Joshua 2:8-11.) Is the author of Esther trying to show something great about Mordecai in Esther 6:13, or is he trying to show you something great about the God of Mordecai who’s hiding in the shadows?

What kind of HOPE Do God's People Have?

Esther 5

Sermon Notes

  1. A King's World, a King's Ransom, vv. 1-4

  2. A Queen's Charm, a Queen's Command, vv. 5-8

  3. A Fool's Pride, a Fool's Wrath, vv. 9-14

Discussion questions

  1. Ian Duguid contrasts King Xerxes and his elaborate court rituals with our King who bids us to come boldly before his throne of grace (Heb. 4:15–16), by saying: "Our King has an open-door policy."[1] Why are we able to enjoy such unlimited access to our great King? See Hebrews 4:15–16; 9:11-14; 10:11–14.

  2. When you encounter someone who does not share your beliefs, what tool do you use to convince them: Persuasion or raw power (i.e., arguments, telling them they're wrong)? See 2 Corinthians 5:11–21, esp. vv. 11, 20. What word best describes Paul's technique here, persuasion or argumentation?

  3. Observe Haman's reaction to Mordecai's slight (not bowing) in Esther 5:9-14. Now read Galatians 1:10. How does believing the gospel make a difference when you encounter (constructive or destructive) critics in your life?

Notes

  1. Ian Duguid, Ruth and Esther, 70
What Kind of HERO(INE) Do God's People Have?

Esther 4

Sermon Notes

  1. Lamenting Life's Circumstances, vv.1-7
  2. Pleading for Deliverance, vv. 8-9
  3. Faith in Our God's Response, vv. 10-17
    1. Rational Faith, vv. 10-13
    2. Confident Faith, v.14a
    3. Humble Faith, v. 14b
    4. Bold Faith, vv15-17

Discussion questions

  1. Did Mordecai believe God would never allow one of God's people to martyred? What was he confident of? See v.14; compare Gen 12:1-3; Dt. 18:15, 18; Isaiah 9:1-7; 11:1-5. Also see Mt. 10:28; 16:18.

  2. Esther talks a lot about feasting, but it also mentions fasting. What did Jesus say about both topics? (There are many examples, but see these two in particular: Matthew 9:15; Revelation 19:6-9)

  3. Ian Duguid says fasting is "a means of expressing sorrow over sin and dependence upon God" and "a statement that there is more to this life than mere physical existence." Finally, he says, "Fasting will remind us to pray over and over through the alarm clock of our hunger pangs!" Do any of those words make you think that fasting should be more a part of your regular life (and your prayer life) than it currently is?

What Kind of ENEMY Do God's People Have?

Esther 2:21-3:15

Outline

  1. No Honor for the Honorable, 2:21-3:1.
  2. Undeserved Honor, 3:1-4.
  3. A Dishonorable Bribe, 3:5-11.
  4. Will God Honor His Promises? 3:11-15.

Discussion questions:

  1. One possible explanation for why Mordecai did not bow was the centuries of tension between the Jews and the Amalekites/Agagites (See Ex 17:8-16; 1 Sam 9: 1-2 and 15: 1-3, 8; compare to Esther 2:5 and 3:1.) Is it possible that racial/ethnic tension was a sin the God’s OldTestament people struggled with? (Consider Jonah, especially Jonah 4:1-4) Does that surprise you or not?
  2. Would you feel guilty asking God to honor His promises? Consider Daniel 9:17-19; what is thebasis of Daniel’s prayer? Why is he asking God to deliver them? Discuss all the times he mentions “you” or “your people” or “your name.”
  3. Is it ever hard for you to believe that God can work your circumstances together for good (cf. Rom 8:28)? Does it ever seem like the deck is stacked against you? Consider what James 4:13-15 and Prov 16:9 say about our circumstances and our plans.