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Summary: One of the most exciting stings in all of literature is found in a true story that has been preserved for us in the Bible. It contains some romance and a lot of action and has a plot that contains more twists than a treacherous mountain road. If you’re

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Esther: Maximizing Ministry Potential

Beth and I enjoy watching movies but we don’t always like the same kind. She usually prefers the love stories while I go for the action-oriented ones. On rare occasions, we find a movie that has both romance and action. Actually, even though I often make a stink when Beth wants to see a mushy movie, I’m the one who ends up crying during the sad parts.

I didn’t see a lot of films when I was young (it was way before the time of VCRs), but I do remember when my parents took me to a “grown-up” movie called “The Sting” starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It was great. The bad guys set a trap for the good guys but end up falling into it themselves. In the end, the tables are turned and the good guys come out ahead.

One of the most exciting stings in all of literature is found in a true story that has been preserved for us in the Bible. It contains some romance and a lot of action and has a plot that contains more twists than a treacherous mountain road. If you’re looking for a good story to read this summer, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the Book of Esther.

There are 5 primary characters in this literary masterpiece. Three of them are positive models that we can follow and two of them are negative examples to avoid. Let’s start with the bad guys.

King Xerxes: Ruler of the world. Focused on money, sex and power

Haman: The villain (When I spoke on Esther at the PCS graduation two years ago, I had everybody shout out “loser” whenever I said Haman’s name. You can do the same if you’d like); he was second in command to the king

Then we have a pair of queens:

Queen Vashti: Woman of character and conviction; involved in opening scene

Queen Esther: Exhibits both inner and outer beauty; goes through identity crisis

And a good guy, who is a strong believer:

Mordecai: Stepfather of Esther; a man of integrity and faith

The Miss Persia Pageant

King Xerxes was the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth in the land that is now Iraq. Historically, he had just lost a military battle so he decided to throw the “mother of all parties.” This was much bigger than the Queen’s jubilee party held this last week in England. Persian banquets were known to have up to fifteen thousand guests. In college, a party that lasted all night was a real party -- and I went to a few of those. But King Xerxes was a party animal; his party lasted for 7 days.

While the King and his buddies were tying one on at this open bar bash, Queen Vashti had a more dignified get-together of her own inside the royal palace. On the last day of the party, King Xerxes asked his gorgeous wife to come out and parade around in front of all his drunken buddies.

When word came to Queen Vashti that her husband, who was probably as drunk as a skunk, wanted her to come outside, she told him to take a hike. Can you blame her? She wasn’t at all interested in being gawked at by a bunch of crude men. Well, this really ticked the King off and he ordered her banished from the kingdom ­ he wanted everyone to know who wore the toga in his family. We don’t hear from Queen Vashti again.


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