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Summary: We must have the courage to act quickly.

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NOW…NOT LATER

Esther 4:1-17

S: Courage

Th: Profiles in Courage

Pr: WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO ACT QUICKLY.

?: Inductive

KW: Portion

TS: We will divide our study of Esther 4:1-17 into five sections demonstrating to us the urgency of courage.

The _____ section is the…

I. DISASTER (1-5)

II. DEPENDENCE (6-8)

III. DOUBT (9-11)

IV. DESTINY (12-14)

V. DETERMINATION (15-17)

Version: ESV

RMBC 10 August 03 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Late (the pill)

Bob had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work.

After a few weeks of this, his boss was mad and threatened to fire him if he didn’t do something about it.

So Bob went to his doctor. The doctor told him that since he was not sleeping through the night he was having a hard time getting up. So the doctor gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed. He got a great night’s sleep and actually beat the alarm in the morning. After a leisurely breakfast, he cheerfully drove to work.

"Boss," he said, "The doctor gave me a pill and it actually worked! I feel great! And look, I am even here early."

"That’s all fine," said the boss, "But where were you yesterday?"

Have you ever felt that you were too late?

Well, as we continue our series of Profiles in Courage, we will study someone that being too late was an issue.

Today, we discuss a woman named Esther.

You may remember that earlier this year we studied the book of Nehemiah.

Both books, along with Ezra, take place when the Persian Empire is in power.

Now, even though Esther comes after Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible, the events concerning Esther precede them.

Esther becomes the queen to Xerxes who is the predecessor to Artaxerxes whom Nehemiah served.

One of the interesting aspects about this history of Esther is that the account never mentions God.

And yet, as you read the story through (which you should do in one sitting), you can’t help but acknowledge that God is there and active.

As we give consideration to Esther today, let’s consider our context…

CONTEXT:

Xerxes, the king of Persia, was on the lookout for a new queen.

There were many candidates, and Esther became one of them.

Before the women would go and meet the king, they were groomed, pampered, perfumed, and oiled.

This was a process that took months, not days.

Finally, Esther’s turn came and she met the king.

Immediately, it seems…

1. Esther captured the attention of Xerxes.

The texts tell us that Esther was good looking.

She was beautiful.

And the text also tells us that Xerxes found her more beautiful and more desirable than all the others.

Once Xerxes met Esther, the wait was over.

All other competitors were set aside.

Esther became the queen.

All things considered, this was phenomenal.

For Esther came from extremely humble beginnings.

As a child, Esther was orphaned.

She was then raised by her older cousin, Mordecai.

As we watch the story unfold, we discover that Mordecai is a wise man.

He is a man of integrity.

He is a man that believes in doing the right thing, regardless of the personal cost.

This is also observed in this history when…

2. Mordecai saved the life of Xerxes.

Apparently, Mordecai overheard of a plot to overthrow Xerxes.

When he learned of it, Mordecai told Esther who then reported it to the king.

The king takes the drastic, but necessary action of hanging the conspirators.

What makes the book of Esther so intriguing though is another character called Haman.

3. Haman, the highest noble of Xerxes, desired to kill Mordecai.

Haman was Xerxes right hand man.

It was a position that certainly fed his ego, which was definitely bigger than the entire outdoors.

When Haman went out on the street, it was expected that everyone would bow to him.

And mostly everyone did, except one man…Mordecai.

Mordecai wouldn’t do it.

He refuses to do so.

This, of course, made Haman very angry.

He stewed on this for a good while and, with the help of his wife, devised a plan to exterminate the Jewish population.

He will get his revenge on Mordecai by killing all those of his race.

What makes the story exciting for us as a reader is that Haman doesn’t know that the queen is the younger cousin of Mordecai.

The man he hates the most was the father to the woman the king loves most.

This brings us back to Esther.

I have introduced you to the main characters.

So, let’s continue with our study.

4. We will divide our study of Esther 4:1-17 into five sections demonstrating the urgency of courage.

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