I’ve always loved the book of Esther, and the idea that a book that doesn’t even mention God once is so full of his sovereignty, provision, and intentionality. Growing up, and even still, Esther is regarded as a massive hero of the faith, a girl chosen for “a time such as this” to carry out the will of God. She is a role model, and an amazing reminder to anyone walking through a difficult season.
It’s a story of God using wild circumstances and a brave girl to save an entire race of people, His people. But it’s also a story of extremely dark situations, and troubling moral dilemmas. It’s a story of a girl being forced to make difficult decisions based on what the safest thing to do was, not what lined up with her faith.
Aside from what we already know about Esther and her incredible journey, what new ideas about bravery and trust can we glean from the terrible moments she had to walk through as a Jewish woman in Persia?
So now, I want to encourage you to go read the book! It’s 10 chapters, and is a very exciting read. Before you do, ask the Lord to give you a renewed sense of clarity, and ask Him to show you something new. When you’re done reading (Click HERE), settle in and work through these discussion questions:
There are several moments in this story that are difficult to read. Some are degrading, harsh, and a very clear example of the way women were treated in the kingdom. Being rejected by his wife is the catalyst that sends Xerxes into a spiral, ultimately resulting in Esther’s rise and the saving of the Jews. One person's tremendous amount of pride became the domino effect for an entire nation’s fate. This right here is such a perfect example of the idea that God can truly use anything to bring glory and can turn anything for good. I encourage you to make this your prayer: out of other people’s actions, good or bad, how can I walk boldly, and what can God do to turn this around?
A large theme throughout this book is the idea that to keep herself safe, and ultimately save the Jews, Esther keeps a massive part of her identity secret. How do you think living as a Jew in Persia might compare to living as a Christ follower in 2023? I believe that God’s heart for us is to go forth boldly as believers, standing firm and openly on what God has for us, and to not live in secrecy. However, are there times where you want to hide who you truly are? Is it easier? Pray through these feelings and allow God to reveal to you why this is.
One common idea that we see over throughout this book is boldness. The boldness of Queen Vashti to reject Xerxes. The boldness of Esther and Mordecai to alert the king to the possibility of an assassination plot. The boldness of Esther to reveal her race and fight for her people. The boldness of the Jews to battle and protect themselves. This poses a difficult question for us as modern-day Christians: where are we lacking in boldness of our faith? Where are we staying quiet because it’s easier than a fight? Where are we allowing the Devil to cultivate apathy in us because it’s so much simpler to sit and watch than to stand and be brave. Take some time to intentionally sit with the Lord and ask Him if there are areas in your life that He wants you to be bolder.
My prayer for you is that as you read Esther for the first time, or revisit it again, that you see with a fresh pair of eyes, and that God reveals new things to you!
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