YEAH! Church - Sunday, November 14, 2021
"Heroes of the Bible” – Esther became queen because the king decided she was the most beautiful…but he soon learned that there was a lot more to his new queen than just a pretty face!
Today’s Lesson - “Esther – Overcoming Fear”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JydNSlufRIs (Bible Project – Book of Esther; for adults and older children)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q94wBYdMwtE&t=865s (Superbook – Esther)
Today’s Hero – Esther (Book of Esther)
Even though King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the city and their homes, many chose to stay in Babylon. One of the families that stayed was Mordecai and his young cousin, Esther, who he had adopted after her parents died. During the time that they lived in the capital city, Susa, a man named Xerxes was king. King Xerxes could be very generous, but also easily offended and given to impulsive decision-making…and the last two traits are not good ones in any leader!
King Xerxes gave a party for his royal officials that lasted 180 days…that’s six months! Then, he decided to throw a one-week grand finale and invited everyone in the kingdom to it. There was lots of food, entertainment and lots of wine; King Xerxes had even given the order that no one should be limited in how much they were permitted to drink. And some at the party, King Xerxes himself, got very drunk. Towards the end of the week, King Xerxes ordered that Queen Vashti should be brought out and paraded in front of all his drunken male guests because he wanted to brag about how beautiful she was, but Vashti refused. This made the king furious and his advisors nervous, so it was decided to get rid of Vashti and replace her with a new queen.
The land of Babylon was searched and all the beautiful young women were taken to Susa to become part of the king’s harem. They were given a year’s worth of beauty treatments and then would be taken to the king, before then being added to his harem of wives. The young woman who pleased him best would be named queen. Esther was taken to the palace and everyone noticed how beautiful she was. When she was taken to the king, he decided she was the one he wanted as his new queen. Esther’s life could have been rather quiet from that point on, except for what happened next.
One of the king’s officials, a man named Haman, thought he was better than everyone else, so when Mordecai refused to bow to him, he became furious. He decided that he not only wanted to kill Mordecai, he wanted to get rid of all the members of his extended family—the Jews! He got the king to agree to allow him to get rid of these ‘pests’ and an order for the Jews to be killed was given for March 7 in almost a year’s time.
When Mordecai got word, he began to mourn and pray…without a miracle all was hopeless, because a law signed using the king’s ring was irrevocable. He sent word to Esther; she needed to go to the king. Her people were counting on her. But Esther was scared. She knew that anyone who went to the king uninvited risked being killed; however, she decided she must try and after praying for three days went to see the king.
He was very happy to see her and promised to give her half his kingdom; Esther simply asked that he and Haman come to a special meal. He agreed and that night at supper, he again asked her what she wanted. She again asked that he and Haman come back the next night and she would then tell him what was on her heart. The king agreed…eager to find out what his beautiful young queen really wanted. Haman left ecstatic, convinced that he was not just the king’s favourite, but now also the queens’. But was he in for a surprise! The next night, Esther tells the king that Haman’s evil plan will also mean her death. The king is furious and has Haman executed. He promotes Mordecai. Then, together, Mordecai and Esther are able to create their own law for the same day, March 7, that will allow the Jewish people to defend themselves.
The people are saved…all because of Esther’s bravery!
• King Xerxes could be very generous, but he was also impulsive. Why can being impulsive be a problem?
• Esther was chosen to be the next queen because she was beautiful. What else do we know about her?
• Haman was a racist and hated Mordecai and the Jews, so decided he wanted them all dead. Is it ever okay to be racist?
• The people were saved because of Esther’s bravery and her good planning. How was God there to help?
Psalm 56:3, NLT - “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”
Prayer – Dear God, thank you for helping Esther to do the brave thing, even though she was scared. Please help me to be brave enough to do what’s right, even though it might be a bit scary at times.
~ Pastor Jane
In addition to being a church minister, Pastor Jane is also a trained teacher and has many years of experience working with children in churches, camps, daycares and schools. Parents' Corner is provided to give parents and caregivers support especially as pertains to mental health and related topics.
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