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Summary: Though God is never mentioned in this book, his fingerprints are all over the story of the heroic Esther and Mordecai. Study along as we discuss the ins and outs of living for God in a godless culture.

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ESTHER: LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE

Taking a Stand: Esther 2:19-3:15

Preached tag team style with Layperson Todd

INTRODUCTION ERIK

-Sunday morning Superman…

-What did he stand for?

-“Truth, justice and the American way.”

-What do we stand for?

Review:

• Xerxes has taken power in Persia

• He banished Queen Vashti

• 4 years laters he puts on a competition for a new Queen.

• A young Jewish woman named Esther is promoted to be new Queen

• Not only was she promoted, her adopted father Mordecai promoted

VS 19 Even after all the young women had been transferred to the second harem and Mordecai had become a palace official, 20 Esther continued to keep her family background and nationality a secret. She was still following Mordecai’s directions, just as she did when she lived in his home.

-Esther reads like a good novel.

-Protagonists, antagonists, twists in the plot and some significant character development.

-Deficiencies in the character of both E and M.

-They didn’t seem to stand for anything but rather… -Did whatever they had to blend in & not make wave

-They were worldly in some ways, passive in their beliefs, but all that changes when life throws Mordecai a curveball.

-Just like many of us have experienced...Mordecai finds himself in a situation where he has to decide what he’s going to stand for.

-And his situation was anything but normal…it seems that Mordecai has stumbled across a plot involving...murder.

ESTHER 2:21-23 TODD

VS 21 One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthana and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king’s private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him.

-So we see...summary

-This death threat is a serious issue, these eunuchs have inside access to the king, and could have the opportunity to kill the king. This is like one of the president’s cabinet members or aides plotting to assassinate him. Plus many kings at the time were killed by those closest to them, like Julius Ceasar.

-In fact, 15 years for this time Xerxes would be assassinated by Atrabanus, commander of his bodygaurd, with the help of a eunuch.

-Why did the eunuchs want to kill the king?... We aren’t sure, but I think all the men in the room would agree that being made a eunuch in itself is enough reason for some serious ill feelings towards the king.

-One thing we know for sure though-Mordecai is the only one who can stop the murder plot.

So let’s recap Mordecai’s situation:

-since he is at the king’s gate he is some sort of public official

-The king has taken his one and only adoptive daughter as one of many young women into his harem

Now he hears of a plot to assassinate the king, what should he do?

-King Xerxes is clearly evil, he has killed many people? Mordecai probably thinks Xerxes deserves to die.

-Is he really the kind of person Mordecai should stand up for?...

Let’s see what Mordecai does.

VS 22 But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report. 23 When an investigation was made and Mordecai’s story was found to be true, the two men were impaled on a sharpened pole.

...

So Mordecai decided to tell the king about the plot, saving his life, and the two plotting eunuchs are killed by being impaled on an upright log.

-We are left with the question:

Why did Mordecai want to save King Xerxes?...

-Maybe it was selfish reasons, to get in good with the king, but there was probably more to gain if the king was assassinated, plus there is the risk off accusing the king’s guards, I don’t think he did if for selfish reasons.

-Why did he do it? Why did he save a man that had conquered many lands, killed thousands, and thrown ridiculous and sinful parties.

-He stopped the assassination plot because it was the right thing to do.

A modern day application: Christians should stand up for all people, even the wicked, because it’s the right thing to do.

What would you do in Mordecai’s situation?

You may not work for the president, but we all have the opportunity to stand up for those who experience injustice.

Luke 6:36-37 “36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. 37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven”.

We must show grace, compassion and forgiveness to all, including:

-The co-worker who makes crude jokes all the time

-Your neighbor who plays his music too loud

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