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.
LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE
THE JOY OF OUR SALVATION
Preached tag team style with Pastor Justin Werber
INTRODUCTION (ERIK-5 MIN)
-What do you think of when you hear the word “celebration”?
-The last few weeks I typed “celebration” into Google to see what would come up.
-I was surprised by some of what I saw:
-This past week people celebrated “roof over your head day”. Didn’t know that was a holiday.
-Nigerian soccer fans celebrated getting into the world cup and 12 people died, 240 injured
-Found a headline saying “celebrate National Geography Week with your kids.”
(Can’t figure out why that one hasn’t caught on)
-150th celebration of the Gettysburg address
-Probably the most moving thing I found was 100 kidney transplant recipients and their donors got together to celebrate being alive!
-What do you celebrate? What brings you so much joy that you want to celebrate?
-Obviously we’re heading into the holiday so we think Christmas.
-But outside the thing that the calendar tells you to celebrate...what do you want to celebrate?
-What causes you to get so excited that you want to share it with everyone you meet?
-What good things have happened in your life that are so good that you don’t want to forget?
-That’s what we’ll discuss today as we end our series in the book of Esther chapter 9.
-Justin Werber is with me…
• Haman was killed.
• Esther and Mordecai were honored.
• The Jews were vindicated and their enemies were destroyed.
-It doesn’t take much imagination to figure what kind of mood they were in.
-They were beyond happy! They were thrilled! Elated! Overjoyed!
-They had just been saved! 15 million people saved.
-Not surprisingly they wanted to celebrate the joy of their salvation!
-They wanted to party like it was 499 B.C. and they had a good reason to.
-They’d been saved! They were heading for destruction and now they’re alive and overjoyed!
-But they didn’t just want to celebrate, they wanted to commemorate!
-And so they took some very deliberate steps to make sure that they would never forget the day of their salvation.
ESTHER 9:20-22 (JUSTIN-7 MIN)
-vs 20 says
VS 20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, 21 calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. 22 He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.
-The Jews had won an amazing victory because of God’s mercy, so Mordecai called the Jews to celebrate the salvation they received.
-Imagine with me:
-Before their salvation, they were:
-scared, people probably didn’t even want to leave their homes for fear of the unknown.
-there were tears of sorrow, everywhere you looked you saw red eyes and damp sleeves.