1. Sunday’s message began with a recap of the book of Esther to this point.
Q: One of the major themes of the book of Esther is God’s power. With us now knowing the outcome of Haman, we were reminded of his heritage & God’s word concerning the Amalekites (Haman is a descendant of the Amalekites) in Exodus 17:14. How does Haman’s demise demonstrate the power of God? How does the passage in Exodus show the extent of God’s power?
Q: Another major theme in the book of Esther is God’s sovereignty. Reminding us of this is Esther 4:14. How does believing that God is sovereign inform your approach to school, family, work, church, & other activities?
2. After reading Esther 8, we first looked at the greatness of the reversal in the life of Mordecai.
Q: Mordecai now has authority & is being treated as royalty. This all took place after 2 months & 10 days of WAITING ON THE LORD. What makes waiting so difficult? What do you think it means to “wait on the Lord”? How can waiting demonstrate faith in God?
Q: We also heard that this moment of happiness for Mordecai & the Jews took place in the midst of darkness. How does a Christian balance hope & grief in moments of darkness?
ACTION: Take time to pray for the family & friends of Trae Oyler. Pray that they cling to Christ as their hope in the midst of their sadness & grief. Pray for the one who committed the crime. Pray that they experience forgiveness & reconciliation solely through the person & work of Jesus Christ.
3. There are gospel threads seen in Esther 8:3-12.
Q: Esther doesn’t present the Jews as having merit before the King on their own, rather she bases their merit on her standing before the King. Why is it important to understand that we have no righteousness before God on our own merit? What are other examples of gospel threads/components in the Bible?
Q: How does the 2nd decree in v. 9-12 function as a saving grace for the people?
Q: So overall we see an enemy set on destruction with a decree that makes destruction all but assured. Pastor Brad pointed to Deuteronomy 27:26 & Romans 3:23 as places where we see this to be the condition of us apart from Christ. Why is it vital to gospel understanding to know our condition apart from Christ?
Q: Then we have a King that issues a 2nd decree that doesn’t remove the 1st decree. On Sunday it was said of Christ’s work, “Salvation’s deepest grace is that we are saved from the very real & very terrible wrath of God.” How does God’s grace appear to be beautiful in light of God’s wrath?
4. We ended with application for the Christian in Esther 8:14.
Q: The news of the King’s 2nd decree led the couriers to be “urged by the king’s command.” In the same way, we have a commission in Matthew 28:18-20. How can we have an urgency to live out our commission today, this week, through the end of the year?