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Summary: This sermon is the conclusion of the series and is a summary of the last two chapters of Charles Swindoll's book on Esther.

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Introduction:

A. The story is told about a time when God the Father, Jesus, and Moses were out playing golf.

1. Moses stepped up to the tee and hit the ball. It went sailing down the fairway and landed in the water hazard.

a. Not a problem for Moses. Moses raised his club, the water parted and Moses chipped the ball onto the green.

2. Next, Jesus strolled up to the tee and hit a nice long one directly toward the same water hazard. a. It landed right in the center of the pond on a lily pad.

b. Not a problem for Jesus. Jesus casually walked out on the water and chipped the ball onto the green.

3. Finally, it was God the Father’s turn.

a. God took a big swing and His ball went sailing down the fairway and headed for the same water hazard.

b. But, just before it fell into the water, a fish jumped up and grabbed the ball in its mouth.

c. As the fish was falling back down into the water, an eagle swooped down and grabbed the fish in its claws.

d. The eagle flew over the green, when a lightning bolt shot from the sky and barely misses it.

e. Startled, the eagle dropped the fish and when the fish hit the ground, the ball popped out of its mouth and rolled into the hole for a hole-in-one.

4. Moses turned to Jesus and said, “I hate playing golf with your Dad!”

B. I don’t care what the game is: golf, horseshoes, or the game of life – I guarantee you this – God is going to win.

1. And If we are on God’s side, then we get to be victors right along with God.

C. This is exactly what we have witnessed in the story of Esther.

1. We have journeyed through some pretty dark and dismal times with Esther.

2. There were a few moments when we found ourselves expecting the worst and wondering if Haman’s decree to exterminate all the Jews in every province of Persia might actually happen.

3. As you know, Esther was stirred to action by her faithful and godly guardian, Mordecai.

4. And so Esther, ignoring long-standing protocol, and refusing to be intimidated by the possibility of losing her life, courageously stepped into the King’s court to express her concern for her people.

5. All these things occurred in a relatively brief period of time, but they resulted in a remarkable turning point.

6. The result was that God stepped in and changed everything allowing His people to be protected and victorious.

7. The king listened compassionately to Esther’s plea and had Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.

8. Then the king promoted Mordecai to the position of prime minister that Haman had occupied.

9. A new edict was written to neutralize the first edict and the Jews were allowed to successfully defend themselves against their enemies.

D. So with most of the dramatic part of the story behind us, today I want us to finish up the story of Esther with a little bit of Paul Harvey’s “the rest of the story.”

1. I want us to hone in on two important applications of the rest of the story.

I. First, from Esther’s Story we learn that “After the Ache, Celebrate!”

A. In Esther 9:18-22, the Bibles says: The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy. That is why rural Jews - those living in villages - observe the fourteenth of the month of Adar as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other. Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

1. The Bible continues: Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word “pur”. Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants (Esther 9:26-28).

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