Study the Bible in Two Years

Friday – Esther 8-10

1.  Once again, Esther brings her request to the king.  What is it? See 8:5.  Why can Xerxes not do this?  See 8:8.  Instead the king gives Mordecai the authority to issue another decree, whatever he desires.  What is that decree?  8:11.  What is different about this decree from Haman’s original one?  Note the first line of verse 11 carefully.

 2.  Does the Lord always correct injustices against his people?  If not now, then when?  See Psalm 73, especially verse 17.

3.  What was one happy result of the new edict?  See 8:17.  Were the people’s motives proper? What are some of the wrong motives for people to join the church today?  Can any good come out of wrong motives?

4.  The word “Purim” is the plural of “pur.”  The 14th of Adar falls exactly one month before Passover, in the spring.  This new feast was to help God’s people remember what? See 9:22.  What similarities do you see in our celebration of the Reformation?

Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Study the Bible in Two Years

Thursday – Esther 5-7

1. What ruined Haman’s joy in being invited to Esther’s banquet?  What did he decide to do? See 5:14.  Note: This is not a gallows as we think, but literally the word is “tree.”  Compare Galatians 3:13, to find out what this type of execution really was.  Think of Jesus!

2.  In chapter 6, we also see God’s guidance of events to produce extreme irony.   Some might call it luck or  coincidence.  But it “just happened” that

  • The king couldn’t sleep that night, and wanted to read.
  • He ran across the section where Mordecai had saved his life.
  • Haman came in early in the morning to ask that Mordecai be hanged.
  • The king asked him what he would do for the “one the king delights to honor”
  • Instead of hanging, Haman is forced to honor Mordecai in the way that he wanted for himself.

What has the Lord done in your life that some might call “dumb luck” or “sheer coincidence”?

3.  Finally Queen Esther brings her request to the king.  What is it?  See 7:3.  At first, Xerxes doesn’t understand that she is talking about the Jews.  What happens to Haman?  Note: a substitution on a cross!  But how is this the exact opposite of Christ?

Published in: on October 3, 2013 at 2:14 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Study the Bible in Two Years

Wednesday – Esther 3-4

1.  The chief enemy, Haman, is the “Agagite.”  Agag was the king of the Amalekites, 500 years before this in the days of King Saul.  There has been a hatred between the Jews and Amalekites for a long time.  This is also the chief reason why Mordecai refused to kneel down to him.  What does Haman persuade the king to do?  See 3:8.   Why has there been so much anti-Semitism in history?  Even among the Christians?  What should be our attitude?  See Romans 9:1-5.

2.  Why is Esther reluctant to approach the king about the terrible decree?

3.  Mordecai replies with the key speech of the entire book, 4:13-14.  If Esther refuses to risk her life for her people, what will happen?  Why did God allow Esther to become queen in the first place?   Let’s apply this to ourselves.  What has God called us to do that may be risky?  What will happen if we refuse?

Published in: on October 2, 2013 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Study the Bible in Two Years

Tuesday – Esther 1-2

1.   Esther, whose Hebrew name is Hadassah, lived at about the same time as Ezra and Nehemiah.  She became the queen of the famous Persian King Xerxes, 485-465 BC. He was the one who won the famous battle ofThermopylae, waged against just 300 Spartans.  He won the battle, but failed to conquerGreece.  Chapter 1 starts two years before he wages war againstGreece.  We don’t know exactly why Queen Vashti refused the king’s command. Perhaps she didn’t want to be viewed as an object of lust.  What does Jesus say about that sin in the Sermon on the Mount?  See Matthew 5:27-30.

2.  Chapter 2 begins in the 7th year of Xerxes.  We know from history that this is just after he returned from his failed campaign againstGreece.  We are introduced to Mordecai, Esther’s cousin who raised her. What had happened to her parents? Do you know of someone who has raised the child of a relative?  Why do we do it?

3. Besides beauty, what qualities do you think Esther had that won over all those around her?

4.  Why would Mordecai forbid Esther to reveal her background and nationality? Is it ever right to hide one’s faith as both Mordecai and Esther did? Why or why not? 

Published in: on October 1, 2013 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,