Principles from Esther
12 November 2017 PM – Esther 1-10 – EzNe17 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The story of Esther took place in the heathen land of Persia. Everything in the story of Esther is true, but it is not all good. Divorce is wrong. Polygamy is wrong. Murder is wrong. The Jews killed their enemies. Today, we are to leave revenge to God (Rom 12:19).
This evening we are going to do something unique. We are going to listen to a dramatized version of the story of Esther for 36 minutes and then I will preach a brief message on principles we can learn from this great book.
1. Listening to the story
a. The historical time period
1) It was during the Jews Babylonian captivity
2) After the temple was rebuilt and before Ezra returned to Jerusalem.
3) The story took place in Shushan during the reign of Xerxes (Ahasuerus) 485-465 B.C.
b. The king’s dilemma
1) King Ahasuerus hosted a feast in his own honour (Est 1)
a) He invited all his nobles (1:3-5)
b) Queen Vashti refused to display her beauty (1:11-12)
c) The king made plans to divorce the queen (1:13-22)
2) The king decreed to find him a new queen (Est 2)
a) Beautiful virgins were sought and including Esther a Jewish orphan reared by her older cousin Mordecai.
b) After 12 months preparation they were individually interview by the king (2:12-13).
c) Esther was chosen as the new queen (2:15-17)
d) Mordecai informed the king of a plot against the king’s life and the plotters were killed (2:21-23).
3) Haman was promoted by the king (Est 3)
a) Mordecai would not bow to Haman
b) Haman plotted to kill all the Jew.
4) Mordecai grieved when he heard of the plot (Est 4)
a) Esther hears. Mordecai proposed that she had become queen to protect her people. (4:14)
b) Esther prayed and fasted before approaching the king.
5) Esther courageously approached the king (Est 5)
a) She was accepted and thus invited the king and Haman to a private banquet.
b) She invited them to another private banquet.
c) Haman built a gallows on which to hang Mordecai.
6) God made the king restless that night (Est 6)
a) He called for his diaries to be read to put him to sleep. While reading he discovered that Mordecai had not been rewarded for saving the king’s life.
b) Haman came early in the morning to seek permission to hang Mordecai.
c) The king asked Haman what should be done to honour a special person. Thinking only of himself (6:6), Haman gave a prideful suggestion (6:7-9).
d) The king made Haman do this to Mordecai.
7) The King and Haman go to the second banquet (Est 7)
a) Esther requests of the king that the lives of her and her people be spared from wicked Haman’s plot.
b) In the king’s anger Haman was hanged on his own gallows made for Mordecai.
8) The tables are turned (Est 8)
a) Mordecai is promoted to Haman’s position
b) The king granted the Jews permission to defend themselves from their enemies.
9) The evil plot is reversed and the Jews protected (Est 9).
a) The Jews killed their enemies
b) The Jewish holiday of Purim was established as a memorial of this great event.
10) Mordecai was promoted even higher by the king (Est 10)
2. Learning from the story
a. The story reveals the character of God
1) God has a purpose for our lives (4:14)
a) God had a plan for Esther’s life and for Israel.
b) God has a plan for your life and mine. (Romans 12:2) “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
2) God is sovereign. He answers to no one! With God there are no accidents or coincidences.
a) (Nehemiah 9:6) “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
b) (Psalms 47:2) “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.”
c) He allows trials. (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
d) He can overrule evil plots. (Proverbs 21:1) “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
3) God honours those who honour Him. (1 Samuel 2:30) “… them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
b. Here are some good principles that we learn from Esther
1) We should not seek vain glory (2:15).
2) Children are to obey their parents (2:20).
3) We should be good citizens. Mordecai reported the plot against the king (2:21-22).
4) Worship belongs to God alone (3:2). We must be careful not to worship our possessions.
5) Now is the time to follow God’s plan (4:13-14).
6) Standing for God and for right takes courage (4:16).
7) We should pray (or fast and pray) before making big decisions (4:16).
8) “Sometimes you will have to go against common sense, against what others advise, even against what you want to do in order to follow God’s plan.” Ron Edmondson
9) We must be willing to risk our lives to protect family (4:16)
10) Pleasing God brings God’s favour (5:2).
11) Pride leads to a fall (6:6).
12) Evil does not pay (7:9-10).
13) God will one day honour those who do right (8:1-2).
Conclusion: When you are faced with trying circumstances, remember, God is still on His throne. He makes no mistakes. He will honour you if you trust him and leave the situation in His hands.
What kind of citizen have you been? Do you obey the laws?
Do you pray before making big decisions? God wants us to commune with Him and to seek His will before we act.
These are but a few of the principles we can learn from this book. If God has spoken to you about something that needs changing in your life, deal with it tonight. Don’t wait.
Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388