Summary: When we praise God we get his attention.

the Jews rebelled against God by serving other gods and God punished them by having them carried into captivity. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was carried into captivity by Assyria followed by Southern Kingdom - Judah which was carried into captivity by the Babylonians.

This wasn’t the end of the story for Israel, because God had a plan of salvation for them. His intention was to bring them back from captivity and the book of Esther gives us a glimpse of God’s plan of salvation.

In fact, God had in mind a much larger plan of salvation than just bringing the Jews back to their homeland, you see, God planned all along that a savior would be born in Bethlehem to a Jewish family, and that that child would grow up to be the savior of the world. His name - JESUS.

In order for Jesus to be born to a Jewish family in Bethlehem, God had to release the Jews from their captivity and bring them back to their homeland.

The account of Esther begins in 483 B.C. some 37 years before Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.

King Xerxes was throwing a big party that lasted 6 months.

His kingdom was expansive – ranging from India to Northern Africa, and he was entertaining all the VIPs from the 127 provinces that he ruled.

At the end of this opulent display of wealth, he had a final 7 day party. He then ordered queen vashti (beautiful) to come before him so he could show off her beauty. She had it all the looks the position but she refused

The King banished her from his presence forever

His palace officials were quick to offer a solution – a beauty contest. They would round up the most beautiful and desirable virgins in his kingdom and he could have his pick of a new Queen. Well, for some reason that idea really appealed to the king, so he told them to get on it right away.

Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassa which means myrtal.

Her parents died when she was young and her cousin, a Jewish noble named Mordecai from the tribe of Benjamin raised her like his own daughter.

As the Miss Persia talent search progressed, Esther was selected as one of the contestants because of her beauty.

She was pampered, given special food and beauty treatments – she had a complete makeover.

When her time came to be considered by the King – he was so impressed with her that he made her the Queen.

Esther and mordecai were at one time the lowest class in society, poor, without a home hated but God hada plan

Esther chapter 3 :

3:1 King Xerxes honored Haman (magnificent) son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king’s command?" 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business."

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 "Keep the money," the king said to Haman, "and do with the people as you please."

13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews-young and old, women and little children-on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

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