Summary: This sermon covers most of Esther 1 and 2. I tell that part of the story and then draw some applications at the end.
A. The story is told of a husband who was heading out to work one day, when his wife said, “I bet you don't know what day this is!”
1. The husband was perplexed, but was always a quick on his feet, he said, “Of course I know what day this is, my dear. How could I forget!?”
2. With that, he turned and rushed to catch the bus for work.
3. At 10 AM, the doorbell rang and when the wife opened the door, she was handed a box containing a dozen long stemmed red roses.
4. Then at 1 PM, a foil wrapped, two pound box of her favorite chocolates arrived.
5. Later, a boutique delivered a designer dress.
6. The wife couldn't wait for her husband to come home.
7. The husband confidently returned from work, feeling satisfied that he had recovered what could have been a very bad situation.
8. His wife warmly welcomed him home saying, “Oh, my darling, first the flowers, then the chocolates and then the dress! I've never had a more wonderful Groundhog Day in my life!”
B. There are certainly many special days in our lives, but most of our days are just regular days that begin and end rather predictably.
1. Day after day, for the most part, we could enter into our diaries the same words: “Just another regular day, nothing special.”
2. But then there are other ordinary days that begin very normally and predictably, but become extraordinary.
3. Those kinds of days may come surprisingly out of nowhere, and they can change the course of our lives.
C. Can you remember some days like that in the lives of biblical characters where they woke up on just another ordinary day, but then things took a dramatic, extraordinary turn?
1. How about the day in Noah’s life when the rain began which resulted in the great flood that covered the whole earth and destroyed all life, except for Noah and his family and the animals God had brought him to save?
a. Noah had known the flood was coming and had built the ark, but he didn’t know when it would come.
2. Or what about the day in the Sinai wilderness when the bush began to burn and wouldn’t go out?
a. Moses had been hanging around the desert for 40 years, and when that 80 year-old’s morning began, he had no idea God was about to send him on a mission to lead God’s people out of Egypt.
3. Or how about that day on the Judean hillside when a Jewish teenager named David was tending his father’s sheep as usual.
a. David had no idea that God was sending Samuel to anoint him to be the next king of Israel.
4. Or how about the day that Jesus was born, and then the day he was raised from the dead – no one expected those things to happen on those days.
a. Or what about the great day that hasn’t yet happened – the day when Christ will return?
D. That’s the way life is – we never know when an ordinary day is going to become a pivotal and extraordinary day.
1. That’s why we must be faithful and we must be watchful for we don’t know when each of us may be called into service as God’s special instrument for whatever the special assignment might be.
2. This is exactly how it happened one day in Esther’s life.
3. As we learned last week, Esther was an unknown, orphaned, young Jewish woman whose life had absolutely no connection with the most powerful man in the Persian Empire – King Ahasueras.
4. But God, in His providential tapestry, was weaving these two unrelated lives together.
5. Esther’s “launch day” began like any other ordinary day.
I. The Story
A. Let’s start at the very beginning, Esther 1:1, the Bible says, Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, 2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel, 3 in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, (Esther 1:1-3)
1. Ho-hum…just another king, living out another day of another year of his reign.
2. We notice that the king is in the 3rd year of his reign.
3. We also notice that the king gave a banquet.
4. Nothing too unusual about that, right? Kings were always throwing parties.
5. However, as we will see, this banquet was an extravaganza – notice its size and duration.
B. Notice verse 4: 4 while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days.