Summary: Though God is never mentioned in this book, his fingerprints are all over the story of the heroic Esther and Mordecai. Study along as we discuss the ins and outs of living for God in a godless culture.
LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE
Introduction - Erik (5 minutes)
Hook: Eddie Mosley story
-Wives got presents for 10 kids
-Dropped all the presents at 1 kids house
-Came home, found out, rewrapped presents in target parking lot
-Talk about injustice.
• Haman had issued a decree against the Jews.
• All the Jews had fasted and prayed.
• Esther asked for mercy.
• Haman received the fate he had planned for Mordecai.
-In fact, it’s even better than that. We’ll pick up our story in chapter 8.
VS 8:1 On that same day King Xerxes gave the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Then Mordecai was brought before the king, for Esther had told the king how they were related.
-Not only was Haman killed. The king gave all of his belongings to Esther, who had been one of the intended victims of his sinister plot.
-And the big secret comes out; up until this point King Xerxes had never known that his wife the Queen and Mordecai were related.
-Because he was completely oblivious. So they explain the connection.
-And look what happens to Mordecai, who had humbled himself.
VS 2 The king took off his signet ring—which he had taken back from Haman (before sticking him on the sharp stick) and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s property.
-So Mordecai now has Haman’s old job. He is second in command in all of the Kingdom of Persia.
-At this point it seems that the tension in the story has been resolved.
-In fact, if we were writing a story chapter 7 would have been a great place to end.
-Mordecai becomes a hero after a crisis. The bad guy gets it.
-And Xerxes and Esther live happily ever after in the castle of Susa.
-But this isn’t Hollywood, this is a real life story.
-And real life stories don’t always have Hollywood endings.
-Life tends to be a little more messy, a little more complicated.
-For all the good that has happened...
-There still the little matter of the death sentence which has been issued.
Esther 8:3-6 - Dave (7 minutes)
VS 3 Then Esther went again before the king, falling down at his feet and begging him with tears to stop the evil plot devised by Haman the Agagite against the Jews. 4 Again the king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So she rose and stood before him. 5 Esther said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman ... who ordered that Jews throughout all the king’s provinces should be destroyed. 6 For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?” (pause)
Esther and Mordecai had just won a major victory but the consequences of Haman’s actions were still in motion , her people are still facing genocide!
-How can I endure this?
-Imagine how Esther felt, she feels desperate, she feels like she is in this awful predicament.
-We’re not talking Desperate Housewife drama. or some hollywood story..this was a national crisis
-In her mind the only way the Jews could be saved was on her shoulders.
-Esther is caught up in a terrible injustice.
Notice in verse 4 of this passage she risks her life to plead for her people.
-Remember, if someone approached the king uninvited they could be killed
-Esther already risked her life in this way once before, now she’s doing it again.
Realize that some time has passed since Haman’s execution, but her crisis has not been resolved.
-She is convinced that the reversal of this decree is the only way out of this situation.
-And she’s asking “How can I endure?”
-Maybe you, or I haven't been in a situation to that extreme .
-But we have all witnessed or been a part of some injustice.
-Injustice is a reality in any godless culture.
-It might be several years of abuse
-For others it may have been that you were raised in a family that were alcoholics
-Or what about the parents that lost their children too young,
- or the widow that lost her husband,
or the husband that lost his wife.
It might be that you have lost love ones to a drunk driver.
- For-some kids it might be constant abuse from other kids at school,
- No kid should have to spend the whole school year afraid,
- That is a terrible injustice
-We all have some kind of injustice, something we have to endure.
-We are brainwashed into thinking that somehow we can always win.