Summary: Fasting has never been commanded to the church, so do we need to do it?

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Fasting, is it Necessary?

Esther 4

Scripture Esther 3:8-11; Esther 4

I. Introduction

I have fasted and I have fasted and prayed, but this study that I have done has been good for me to realize I may not have always done it for the right reason or been effective in it. So I stand here as a learner, as usual.

A lot more people can fast than do, but because of heath reasons it is not always a good idea and you know yourselves. For pastor Lindsay’s mom who is diabetic fasting is not a good plan and for some there are other health risks.

It so happened that this past week Lindsay and I were also reading the Book of Esther in the mornings. In the Book of Esther we find a tremendous lesson in fasting and I want to look at her story this morning.

Instead of reading the whole Book of Esther I am going to give you a quick overview of the story.

a. story of Esther

• King Ahasuerus (Xerxes, 486 to 465 BC) of Persia has a six

month celebration, followed by a seven day feast, also one

hosted by his wife, Queen Vashti, for the women - Es 1:1-9

• Ahasuerus decides to show off his wife, but she refuses to

cooperate - Es 1:10-12

• In anger, Ahasuerus has Vashti banished, as a warning to all

wives - Es 1:13-22

• A search to replace Vashti was begun - Es 2:1-4

• In Shusan there was Mordecai, a Jew raising his lovely and

beautiful cousin Hadassah (Esther) - Es 2:5-7

• Together with other beautiful virgins, she underwent 12 months

of preparation, and ultimately was selected to replace Vashti

- Es 2:8-19

• But she did not reveal that she was a Jew - Es 2:20

• Meanwhile, Mordecai thwarted a plot against Ahasuerus - Es


• Haman the Agagite, is promoted, but Mordecai as a Jew refuses

to bow before him, which infuriates Haman - Es 3:1-5

• Haman receives permission from Ahasuerus to kill the Jews, the

13th of Adar - Es 3:6-15

• Mordecai mourns in sackcloth and ashes at the king's gate - Es


• Esther hears of her cousin, and learns of Haman's plan to kill

the Jews - Es 4:4-9

• Mordecai convinces Esther to approach the king, at great risk

to her own life - Es 4:10-17

• Esther instructs Mordecai to get all the Jews to fast From food and drink for 3 days and nights and she and her maids would do likewise because if she approached the King without his permission she was at risk of execution. 4:16-17

• Esther is granted an audience,

• She invites the king and Haman to a

banquet - Es 5:1-5

• She invites them to another banquet the following night, to

make her petition - Es 5:6-8

• As Haman leaves he is angered when Mordecai refuses to bow to

him; his wife and friends persuade him to build a gallows for Mordecai - Es 5:9-14

• That night the king can't sleep; reading through the archives

he learns how Mordecai thwarted the plot against him, yet nothing had been done to honour him - Es 6:1-3

• The king asks Haman what should be done to honour a good man;

Haman assumes the king intends to honour him and answers accordingly - Es 6:4-9

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