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Esther Lesson 10: The Impact of One Life

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2008 12 Feb
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Lesson 9 in Review

In Lesson 9 we read of the resounding victory of the Jews over those who sought to destroy them. The tables were indeed turned on those allied with Haman, as all the men who sought to dominate and destroy the Jews were themselves destroyed. As part of the finishing touch of this victory, the bodies of Haman’s sons were also hung up on their father’s gallows to demonstrate to all the seriousness of rebelling against the king. The dead were tallied, and the Jews, at last, had rest from those who tormented them all of those years. The Jews celebrated with great feasting and joy, enjoying a holiday, or better, a good day in which they honored God and gave of themselves to others. Yet there was a potential problem brewing, because the Jews outside of Susa celebrated on one day, while those in Susa celebrated the next day.

This final lesson will show us how this possible conflict was logically solved, and how the Feast of Purim became memorialized officially. It will close with a glimpse at both Esther and Mordecai and show us what impact a solitary life can have on their world.

DAY ONE: The Feast of Purim Clarified

Please carefully read Esther 9:20-22 and answer the following questions.

1. What was done in view of the potential problem of making this a unified Jewish celebration (v. 20)?

2. What logical decision was made to accommodate all the Jews (v. 21)?

3. What were some of the wonderful things were they to celebrate about that month’s events (v. 22)?

4. What a great passage! That month was a time when everything was turned around and transformed[i] for the Jews. Their seemingly incurable despair was turned into rejoicing and gladness; their prolonged mourning period was turned to a “good day,” a holiday, and they celebrated it with giving presents (portions of food) to each other and gifts to the poor.[ii] How will God accomplish this sort of transformation for all who come to Him by faith (Psalm 30:11; Isaiah 61:1-3)?

5. How will God take care of the poor who have nothing or no-one else to help them?

Psalm 16:5-11

Matthew 5:3

Scripture Memory: This week we will be memorizing Esther 9:22. Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.

As the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.(Esther 9:22, NJKV)

DAY TWO: The Feast of Purim Established

Please carefully read Esther 9:23-25 and answer the following questions.

1. What was the Jews’ response to Mordecai’s letter (v. 23)?

2.  How does v. 24 review the problem that started it all?

3. What does v. 25 remind us about how the problem was solved?

4. The enemy’s attacks in our lives likewise can only defeat us if we roll over and play dead. Rather, how will God turn the enemy’s attacks back on his own head, just as Haman discovered?

Psalm 18:26; Ps. 145:20; Ps. 146:9

Romans 12:19-20

Galatians 6:7-8

Scripture Memory: Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

As the days on which the Jews had _____________ from their enemies, as the _____________________ which was turned from sorrow to __________ for them, and from mourning to a ____________________; that they should make them days of feasting and _____________, of sending presents to one another and ____________ to the poor. (Esther 9:22, NKJV).

DAY THREE: The Feast of Purim Memorialized

Please carefully read Esther 9:26-28 and answer the following questions.

1. Why was this feast named in such a way (v. 26)?

NOTE: The Feast of Purim was the one and only holiday established in the Old Testament not connected with the Mosaic Law.[iii] The other two not connected to the Law, the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) and Nicanor’s Day, were established in the 2nd Century B.C. during the Maccabean revolt.[iv]

2. How did they commit themselves to keep this feast, thus memorializing it (v. 27)

3. The Jews established and imposed the celebration, which meant to rise up from a seated position and take immediate, dramatic action, and to do so without fail (that is, trespassing against God by not doing so).[v]  While the church is never required to keep these Jewish feasts, what did Jesus establish with us that He wants to continue and be memorialized by His children (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)?

4. To what extent was this to be memorialized by them (v. 28)?

Scripture Memory: Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.
As the days on which the Jews had _____________ from their enemies, as the _____________________ which was turned from ____________________ to __________ for them, and from _______________________ to a ____________________; that they should make them _____________ of feasting and _____________, of sending presents to one another and ____________ to the poor.  (Esther 9:22, NKJV)

DAY FOUR: The Impact of One Life:  Esther

Please carefully read Esther 9:29-32 and answer the following questions. 

1. This passage is the final summary and act recorded about our heroine, Queen Esther. What did she do to further establish this feast (v. 29)?

2. How did Mordecai also assist with this, and how was this accompanied (v. 30)?

3. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, meaning welfare, health, security, good condition.[vi] It is a theologically significant word in the Old Testament, and is used 237 times in it.[vii] Truth meant firmness, stability, and faithfulness.[viii] How has Christ brought us into peace (Isaiah 9:6-7; Ephesians 2:14-18) and truth (John 8:32; John 14:6)?

4. How did Esther further establish and confirm the Feast of Purim (vv. 31, 32)?

5. Esther was an example for us all as to how the impact of one life can make a major difference for those their life touches. What incident best summarizes Esther’s transformation to effectiveness in the lives of others (see Esther 4:13—16)?

Scripture Memory: Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

As the days on which the Jews had _____________ from their enemies, as the _____________________ which was turned from ____________________ to __________ for them, and from _______________________ to a ____________________; that they should make them _____________ of ______________________ and _____________, of sending _______________________ to one another and ____________ to the poor. (Esther 9:22, NKJV)

DAY FIVE: The Impact of One Life:  Mordecai

Please carefully read Esther 10:1-3 and answer the following questions.

1. The book begins with considering Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and his wealth and power, and in part concludes with him.[ix] What did he do after the events of Esther 9 (v. 1)?

2. How does v. 2 summarize the lives of Ahasuerus and Mordecai?

3. Some skeptics have doubted that a Jew could have had such a place in the Persian Empire, yet what does Genesis 41:37-45, Nehemiah 1:11, Daniel 2:46-49, Dan. 5:29, and Dan. 6:28 demonstrate about Jews in high governmental positions?

4. Esther 10:3 serves as the key verse for realizing what impact one person, here Mordecai, can have when they are submitted to God.  What are five things this verse tells us about this man and how he impacted others?

Scripture Memory: Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below? Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day. Esther 9:22

DAY SIX: Living in Such a Time as This

1. Derek Prime well stated that the theme of the Feast of Purim can be summarized in the word remember; we can learn several lessons from the Feast about rest, feasting, fellowship, walking in joy, and practicing generosity.[x] Having reminders such as this can help us to remember the lessons God has taught us and gives us confidence in facing the future. What are some of your “memorial markers,” things that can help you to hang onto the truths you’ve been learning, to face the challenges the future will bring? Please record some of these things and share how this helps you look toward the future in joy and confidence.

2. This was the end of the story for these people. Mordecai would continue to serve the king and the Jewish people for the next ten years until Ahasuerus was assassinated, but we don’t know what happened after this.[xi] As Warren Wiersbe well pointed out, not everyone is going to have a happy ending to their life’s story, but we can gain reassurance when we remember that God will be the one writing the last chapter![xii] Read the following passage and record how this encourages you to trust in the Lord all the more for your future:

But this precious treasure — this light and power that now shine within us — is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, and so I speak." We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you. All of these things are for your benefit. And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:7-18, NLT).

3. Someone once said, “Only one life, will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Our lives will have an impact on others one way or the other; we need to choose to have our lives make the right impact for God’s kingdom. As you think back over the things you have read in the Book of Esther, what in particular stood out to you about the impact that Esther and Mordecai had in others’ lives, and how has that motivated you personally? Please record your thoughts to share with your group.

Scripture Memory: Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory. Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time. Esther 9:22

Footnotes for Lesson 10

[i] Spiros Zodhiates ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 1994), p. 2311.
[ii] Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter eds., The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), pp. 416, 417, 435, 627, and 1161.
[iii] John MacArthur ed., The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville: Word Bibles, 1997), p. 692.
[iv] Joyce G. Baldwin, Esther (Downer’s Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1984), p. 107.
[v]Spiros Zodhiates ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament, pp. 2346, 2361.
[vi] Ibid., p. 2374.
[vii] F. B. Huey Jr., Esther. In F.E. Gaebelein ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1988), p. 839.
[viii] Spiros Zodhiates ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament, p. 2302.
[ix]F. B. Huey Jr., Esther, p. 839.
[x] Derek Prime, Unspoken Lessons about the Unseen God (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2001), pp. 131-134.
[xi]John MacArthur ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, p. 692.
[xii] Warren W. Wiersbe, With the Word Bible Commentary (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993), p. 635.


©2005 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2004-2005. www.Harvest.org

Photo credit: Unsplash Aaron Burden




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