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Esther 1

Talks for Growing Christians

The Removal of Queen Vashti by King Xerxes of Persia

Esther 1

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God can use national events to accomplish His purpose.
  2. God can use domestic squabbles to accomplish His purpose.

Practical Application

  1. Read the book of Esther when you are discouraged.

Questions

  1. Why were there Jews living in Susa during the reign of Ahasuerus?
  2. Where does Esther fit into the chronology of the Bible?
  3. What is unique about the book of Esther?
  4. What is the theme of Esther?
  5. Who was King Ahasuerus?

Answers

  1. About 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon, after the decree by Cyrus in 539 B.C. But many Jews had developed roots in their captive land and did not desire to return.
  2. The events recorded in Esther occurred after the first return of the Jews from Babylon in 539 B.C., and before the second return in 458 B.C. Esther fits in between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra.
  3. It is the only book in the Bible that does not contain the name of God. However the hand of God is seen working in every chapter of the book.
  4. Providence – God’s divine guidance and protection of His people the Jews
  5. He was likely King Xerxes of Persia.

Discuss/Consider

  1. It was God’s expressed desire for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem after their captivity in Babylon. (See Jeremiah 25:12) He wanted them to return and worship Him in His temple. Many of the Jews rejected God’s will and remained in Babylon. Despite their lack of commitment to the Lord, He was still at work behind-the-scenes to accomplish His purpose on behalf of His people. Can you relate this to your life? Have there been times in your past when you were not walking with God, yet now you can see that He was protecting you even then? What a gracious God we serve!
  2. Review how God used national events and domestic squabbles to accomplish His purpose in this first chapter of Esther. Discuss how God can use national events and domestic squabbles to accomplish His purpose today.

Challenge

  1. Have you ever felt discouraged, as though God was not working in your life? Recognize that, as in the book of Esther, even when God’s work is not evident He is working behind-the-scenes.

Key Verses

  • “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded… seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king… But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command.” Esther 1:10-12

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