Esther: Villain and Vindication

September 27, 2015 • Michael Wilburn • Esther 7:1-8:2

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: 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: Request and Recognition

Michael Wilburn

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"?