This is lesson 3 of 4 in Esther.
- Main Point of the Passage: God worked through and in spite of Esther to cause Haman’s scheme against Mordecai to backfire.
- Main Point of the Lesson: God protects his people, sometimes in dramatic and surprising ways.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will place their confidence in God’s deliverance, not their own power.
- Key Verse: “Haman entered, and the king asked him, ‘What should be done for the man the king wants to honor?’” Esther 6:6
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: Who is the person who can almost always make you laugh?
Share Question: Tell about a time God delivered you in a surprising way.
Introduce the Passage: God protects his people, sometimes in dramatic and surprising ways. In Esther 5–7, God worked through Esther, and even in spite of her, to ruin Haman’s plan to kill Mordecai. Mordecai, Esther’s Jewish uncle, had instructed Queen Esther to intercede with the king on behalf of her people. Perhaps out of fear, Esther delayed her request. Instead of making her request immediately, Esther invited the king to two banquets with only herself and Haman. During and between these two banquets, God was working against Haman in ways that his own pride and hatred blinded him to.
Study Question: As we read Esther 5–7, let’s find answers to this question: what were the steps in the backfiring of Haman’s plan to kill Mordecai?
Possible answers include:
Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet. 5:1–5
At the banquet, Esther invited them to another banquet. 5:6–8
Haman bragged about the banquets but sulked over Mordecai’s lack of respect. 5:9–13
Haman built a very tall gallows to hang Mordecai on. 5:14
The king recalled that Mordecai was never rewarded for saving him. 6:1–3
Haman thought he was planning his own parade when the king asked him how to honor a man. 6:4–9
Haman was humiliated when he was forced to honor Mordecai. 6:10–14
Esther revealed her nationality and pleaded with the king. 7:1–6
The king thought Haman was violating Esther and executed him. 7:7–10
Connect-the-Dots Question: What might Mordecai have done if he were depending on his own strength rather than God’s strength for deliverance?
Count-the-Cost Question: How would you answer a Christian who said, “Just because God delivered Mordecai doesn’t mean he’s going to deliver me”?
Let’s-Do-It Question: What’s the hardest part of waiting for God’s deliverance?
Prayer: Father, teach us to trust you to save us from our enemies. Thank you that your promises are for each of your children. Amen.