This is lesson 1 of 4 in Esther.
- Main Point of the Passage: God brought Esther and Mordecai to prominence in Persia because he had a plan to rescue the Jewish people.
- Main Point of the Lesson: God is always working in our circumstances for the good of his people.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will remember that God is working for the good of his people even when we cannot understand it.
- Key Verse: “The king loved Esther more than all the other women. She won more favor and approval from him than did any of the other virgins. He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.” Esther 2:17
To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.
Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.
Smile Question: What’s the best way to be awakened in the morning?
Share Question: Tell about a time you saw God was working providentially in your circumstances.
Introduce the Passage: God is always working in our circumstances for the good of his people. In Esther 1–2, God brought two Jews to prominence in the Persian empire because he had a plan to rescue the Jewish people. About 500 years before Christ, many of the Jewish people were living in exile in the land of Persia. As we will see in the story of Esther, their position was a dangerous one. But God came through to rescue them in a stunning way.
Study Question: What apparent “coincidences” made Esther and Mordecai prominent in Persia?
Possible answers include:
Queen Vashti was banished from the king’s presence (1:19–21)
Ahasuerus decided to search for a new queen (2:1–4)
Mordecai’s family had been exiled from Jerusalem (2:5–6)
- Esther was beautiful (2:7)
- Mordecai had adopted Esther (2:7)
- Esther found favor with Hegai (2:8–9)
- Esther and Mordecai chose to conceal Esther’s heritage (2:10)
- Esther took Hegai’s advice (2:15)
- Esther gained everyone’s favor, especially the king’s (2:15-17)
- The king gave gifts to his entire empire to celebrate Esther (2:18)
- Mordecai overheard a plot, and Esther reported it to the king (2:21–23)
Connect-the-Dots Question: How is the situation of Esther and Mordecai similar to the situation Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced in Babylon one hundred years earlier? (You can find their story in Daniel 1.)
Count-the-Cost Question: The book of Esther never mentions the name of God. What evidence could Esther and Mordecai have found that God was in fact at work in their circumstances?
Let’s-Do-It Question: What are the consequences if we lose hope that God is working in and through our circumstances?
Prayer: Father,teach us to trust your hand in everything that comes our way. Thank you that we can have hope that you are working for your people through everything. Amen.