Summary: Showing how God cares through the story of Esther - PowerPoint slides aere available for this sermon on request - email: email@example.com
Reading: Esther chapters 2 verse 5-11..
Top 6 things that people tend to forget:
• 6: faces
• 5: what was said
• 4: words
• 3:telephone numbers
• 2: where something is
• 1: names!
Be assured of this:
• God not only knows you by name, but he will never ever forget it!
• ill: “Stand up & sat down” (Psalm 139 verses 1-2).
• ill: “Hairs on our head are numbered” (Matthew chapter 10 verse 30).
• Charles Spurgeon (18th century Baptist preacher & author);
• Once went down to visit a friend in the country.
• His friend had built a new barn,
• And above it he had placed a weather-vane bearing the text, "God Is Love".
• Spurgeon did not like for he thought it gave the impression;
• "That God’s love is as changeable as the wind?"
• But his friend said that it was the complete opposite;
• "It means that God is love, whichever way the wind blows!"
• The Old Testament book of Esther is a beautiful illustration of that;
• Before we look at our passage we need to get some background.
(a). The plot.
• In 46 days time it will be Bonfire Night (November 5th )
• Some people will take an effigy of a man called Guy Fawkes & burn it on top of a bonfire.
• The reason we do that is because in 1605;
• He hid 1.5 tonnes of gunpowder under the Houses of parliament,
• As well as blowing up the building,
• His plot was to blow up the entire government.
• As if it wasn’t for a man called Francis Tresham who gave the game away,
• He might have succeeded!
• Instead he was caught, arrested and imprisoned & tortured in the Tower of London.
• On January 31st 1606 along with seven other men;
• Was executed opposite the very building he tried to blow up.
• Ever since then we have celebrated that occasion each November 5th;
• With bonfires and fireworks and many still even make a ‘guy’ (stuffed dummy).
Years before Guy Fawkes Existed:
• Another plot took place;
• This time it was not to exterminate a group of politicians but a whole race of people.
• That is the story contained in the Bible book called Esther;
• We have recorded their the story of a plot to exterminate every Jewish person:
• Throughout history many world leaders and dictators have tried to do just that;
• From Pharaoh in the book of Exodus, to Adolph Hitler’s holocaust in the 2nd World War.
• And there are many alive in our world today;
• Who are trying to, or would love to see the Jewish people destroyed!
• That is the situation that occurs in this book called Esther.
• We know that the plot failed,
• But Esther is the gripping story of how her peoples future survival depends on her!
• Had the plot succeeded and the Jewish nation been exterminated!
• Think of what this would have meant to world history and to especially to you and me!
• No more Jews and therefore no Bible (one Gentile wrote 2 books, the rest is Jewish).
• And most of all no Jesus!
• And therefore no salvation!
(2). The Time.
• Historically it took place in the 5th century B.C. (From 486 to 465 B.C).
• Biblically the story fits in between Ezra chapters 6 and 7.
• Ill: Boy Arlo used to say when you told him things;
• “Is that in real life daddy?” meaning of course “or is it pretend”
• The story of Esther may read like an ancient novel,
• But like Guy Fawkes we are dealing with real historical people in real situations.
(3). The Characters.
These first four chapters of the book introduce us to the 4 main characters in the drama.
• KING XERXES – the Barak Obama of his day – major player on the political world scene!
• The kingdom that Xerxes ruled was vast. It stretched from India to Egypt.
• All this, he ruled from his palace in the capitol city of Susa,
• Which is in modern day Iraq.
• ESTHER who the book is named after (and the star of the show);
• SHE will replace the old queen Vashti & will eventually become the saviour of her people!
• HAMAN the enemy:
"To this day the Jews have never forgotten the man named Haman. They’re reminded of him each year at the Feast of Purim. ’During the dramatic reading of the Book of Esther in a Jewish synagogue at the Feast of Purim, the congregation may be found taking the part of a chorus and exclaiming at every mention of the name of Haman. "May his name be blotted out," "Let the name of the ungodly perish," while boys with mallets will pound stones and bits of wood on which the odious name is written”.