Friday, May 2, 2008

My Take on the book of Esther

Tonight I’m teaching/ facilitating at church, and am covering the book of Esther. I have immensely enjoyed my research and preparation this week, but am a little nervous for this evening as I tend to dread any form of public speaking or me being the center of attention. Here’s the outline/ notes that I’ve prepared in case you’d like to join me on my reflections on the book.

Father thank you for the privilege of allowing you to work through me in our church this evening. Lord I ask that you take away all of my fear and anxiety and fill me with your peace. Guide my thoughts and words with your Spirit. Fill the Dorman’s home with your presence. Lord unite us as the church, your body, show us opportunities to minister to each other in your love. Make us aware of your presence and work as we gather to worship and glorify you. May you be the center of our attention. In Jesus’ name I pray.


Facts about the book of Esther
-It’s one of two books in the Bible named after a woman (the other is Ruth)
-It’s one of two books in the Bible that doesn’t refer to God (the other is Song of Solomon)

-Feasting: there were 10 recorded banquets in the book, and many of the events were planned, unfold, or exposed at these meals
-Feasting was done immediately upon the deliverance of the Jewish people to celebrate, starting the feast of Purim
-Take up your cross
-Esther was ready to give her life for her people (v. 4:16b “…if I perish I perish”) (went before king twice uninvited which could be punishable by death)
-In contrast, so often we can be hesitant to give our money, time, or lives to the Lord
-“All dangers are trifling compared with the danger of losing our souls” –Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
-Obedience and God’s purpose
-(Read) 4:14 God is bigger than us. If we do not obey His call it is not going to mess up His plan, we will just miss out on our opportunity to participate in the action. He is still going to accomplish His purpose, He will just use someone else and we will miss out on the opportunity that He had placed us in.
-Reflect on why God has put each of us where we are, what are the appointments that He has made for us? Who did you meet/ see today? What purpose does He have for you in your work/ activities/ friendships etc?
-Mordecai’s words showed his faith, he knew the scriptures and knew that God would intervene and deliver His people
-The Jewish people are delivered from annihilation
-(Read) Deuteronomy 25: 17-19, (Read) Esther 9:16. After centuries of fighting Israel is given rest from it’s enemies.
-The choice we make to see God’s hand at work in our lives (and give Him praise), or merely see courses of events as coincidences
-ex/ king had a sleepless night, chose to relieve his boredom by
having the royal annals read to him, became aware of account of
Mordecai’s deed, Haman came in at the moment that the king
wanted to recognize Mordecai, this all happened the night before
Esther’s 2nd banquet
-How has our Lord been at work in your life this week that you may not have noticed, but He deserves praise for?

Although God’s name is not mentioned in the book, we see Him through Mordecai’s faith that Israel would be delivered (4:14), the people’s fasting (which would presumably include prayer and be used as a petition to God 4:3 & 4:16), and Esther’s willingness to give up her life for her people (4:16). Much like this our lives can be witnesses to others without having to overuse Christian words and phrases (Christianese) that may be a turn off or unfamiliar to unbelievers.

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