Summary: Learning from Esther
Learning from Esther
Introduction: We learn here that the author of Esther is unknown. Some think possibly Mordecai (9:29). Some have suggested Ezra or Nehemiah because of the similarity of the writing style. Esther was written for the purpose to demonstrate God’s sovereignty and his loving care for his people.
So we see here that Esther was born a slave in captivity. Because of her beauty a pagan king made her one of his wives. Talk about feeling out of place! But no place is out of place when you’re in God’s place. When human plotted to have all the Jews exterminated Esther was pre-positioned by God to save them. Esther discovered her life’s purpose when her uncle Mordecai said: (Read Esther 4:14). And what was her response? (Read Esther 4:16).
By calling for a fast, Esther was asking the Jews to pray for God’s help with her dangerous mission. In the Old Testament, prayer always accompanies fasting (see Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; Ezra 8: 21-23). An important function of a community of believers is mutual support in difficult times. When you are experiencing struggles, turn to fellow believers for support by sharing your trials with them and gaining strength from the bond that unites you. Ask them to pray for you. And when others need your support, give it willingly.
Save your own skin and Watch out for number one are mottoes that reflect the world’s selfish outlook on life. Esther’s attitude stands in sharp contrast to this. She knew what she had to do, and she knew it could cost here her life. And yet she responded, “If I perish, I perish.” We should have the same commitment to do what is right despite the possible consequences. Do you try to save your own skin by remaining silent rather then standing up for what is right? Commit yourself to do what God wants, and trust him for the outcome.
1. As Paul wrote this letter he was facing death
a. The book of 2 Timothy was written in prison just before Paul’s execution by Nero. He knew that such a death might also befall his son in the faith, Timothy, as well as any other faithful servant of Christ.
b. Nevertheless, Paul’s concern was not for his own life but for the furtherance of the gospel (2 Tim 2:9, 10).
2. His encouragement to Timothy was that Christ “Was raised from the dead” (2 Tim 2:8)
a. The verb is the prefect passive participle with a middle meaning, one who has raised Himself from the dead. It refers to Christ’s historic resurrection and the fact that he is alive today holding “the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).
b. In the instance Paul refers to the Lord as Jesus Christ, stressing His humanity first (only after Jesus’ resurrection was He called Christ Jesus, emphasizing His divinity). It is possible that Paul wanted to remind Timothy that he too might be required to die like Jesus. But just as he rose from the dead, so also Christ promises eternal life to those who follow Him (1 Cor. 15:22, 23).
3. Suffering for Christ was in accordance with the gospel Paul preached
a. Paul did not preach a gospel of health and prosperity. On the contrary, Jesus instructed His disciples that they would have trials in this world (John 15:20). This was especially true for Paul as an apostle (Acts 9:16).
b. Paul’s gospel was one of suffering: “Wherein I suffer trouble…” (2 Tim. 2:9). The verb here means “to suffer evils.” In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul commands Timothy to suffer evil, or “endure afflictions.”
4. Our rewards in heaven will be glorify with our faithfulness on earth
a. “For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him” (2 Tim. 2:11). This does not refer to our involuntarily being put to death, but rather to our willingness to sacrifice for Christ (Matt. 16:24). To the extent that we bear our cross in this life we shall be rewarded in the next.
b. Jesus taught this truth in the parable of the laborers (Matt. 20:1-16) and that of the faithful and bad servant (Matt. 24:45-51; Like 12:36-48). Our entrance into heaven, however, will be based solely on our acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
(Conclusion): So what do we learn from Esther?
1. Sometimes you won’t understand God’s timing or His plan for your life. But just because you don’t understand or comprehend God’s plan right now doesn’t mean He doesn’t care, or doesn’t have one. Seek Him. He’ll reveal it to you- step-by-step!
2. When you discover God’s plan for your life you feel empowered. Whether you’re a slave or a queen, when you know God called you, it enables you to overcome each obstacle as it arises.