The Purim Queen
Esther: Redemption and Rejoicing
October 4, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • Compare and contrast Mordecai's edict (8:9-12) from Haman's edict (3:12-15)? What are the similarities and differences? • Why couldn't King Ahasuerus "revoke" (vs. 5) Haman's edict? • Is redemption a simple undoing of evil already done? Why or why not? • According to Esther 8:9 how many months remain until the final resolution? What possible reason explain divinely purposed delays?
Esther: Villain and Vindication
September 27, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • What lessons can be learned from Esther 7 about living as a believer in a secular environment? • In what ways do you feel unchristian if you have enemies? How can you determine if your enemy is God’s enemy or one of your own creation? • How does King Ahasuerus respond in verse 5? What does the king’s reaction show about Haman’s plot? • Consider the relationship between Esther and Mordecai (8:1)? Who is like family to you? Who can teach, challenge, and warn you?
Esther: Request and Recognition
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • What signs of self-centeredness appear in Haman? • What signs of self-centeredness are troublesome for you? • How is the king’s sleepless night woven into God’s providence? • Does timing factor into your decision-making? How does timing reveal God’s purposes in Esther 5-6? • How do you react to honor delayed (Mordecai) or honor given to another (Haman)?
Esther: Mourning and Fasting
September 6, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • In light of Mordecai's public mourning, how has someone else's grief influenced your reaction to suffering? • Who can counsel you like Mordecai counseled Esther? Why do you need counselors? • Name all the emotions in Esther 4. How do you understand and identify with these emotions? • Is it faith or fatalistic to say with Esther "If I perish, I perish"?
Esther: Plots and Providence
August 23, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • What, if any, is the significance that Mordecai was a Jew and Haman was an Agagite? • How did God use Mordecai and Esther’s positions for good? How can your position and influences be used for good? • Is randomness like casting lots (Esther 3:7) antithetical to God’s sovereignty? Why or why not? • How must God’s people receive persecution in light of his providence?
Esther: Contest and Crown
August 9, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • Carefully read Esther 2. Is Esther's behavior righteous or sinful? • Who is Mordecai? What is his relationship to Esther? • How has God's grace exceeded your personal sin (Rom. 5:20b)? • Is God willing to use sinners to accomplish his purposes? How does this shape an understanding of providence?
Esther: Integrity and Consequence
August 2, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • What does King Ahasuerus request of Vashti? Why does she refuse? • What part does alcohol play in the story? How does this view of alcohol influence your celebrations? • Is the prince's feared outcome (vs. 17) valid? Describe a better way for a husband to gain a wife's respect. • Do you live with the same moral integrity as Queen Vashti? How has it caused good or bad consequences?
Esther: The Times & Destiny
July 26, 2015 • Michael Wilburn
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: • Who is Ahasuerus? Where is he found in the book of Daniel? Why is this significant? • Describe the times of Xerxes. How does a person discern the times in which they live? • Is a 6 month celebration after a 3 year reign excessive celebration? Identify areas of personal excess. • How was God at work in the first 3 years of Xerxes' reign and 6 month celebration? Is God similarly at work today?