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Esther - Lesson Two - Day 6

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2008 4 Feb
Esther - Lesson Two - Day 6

DAY SIX: Living in Such a Time as This

1.  Ahasuerus allowed passion to dominate his life, especially sexuality.  He stole the precious gift of virginity from hundreds if not thousands of women without thought or remorse, using sex to try to fill the emptiness of his heart.  Solomon likewise experienced this to his great detriment, and it ultimately cost him his kingdom and all he had accomplished.  Solomon amassed 700 wives and 300 concubines, and the love/lust of these women turned him away from the Lord (see 1 Kings 11).  You may look at these two men’s example and think, “I may blow it now and then, but at least I’m not like those guys!”  Aren’t you?  What about what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27–28:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.”  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (nkjv)  

Oops!  Maybe then you have disgraced and polluted yourself and your relationship with those you have lusted after, whether it was one, 400, 1,000, or 1,460!  We must take steps to prevent ourselves from falling to sexual sin and the damage it can bring, so we and our witness are not destroyed. 

Walking in a godly way in this area is something we must deliberately discipline ourselves to do.  R. Kent Hughes, in his excellent book, Disciplines of a Godly Man, gave several practical suggestions about facing these things.[xviii]  Think about these suggestions and how you can personally implement them in your life, and share together as a group what your ideas are so you can all stand against this enemy united. 

(1)  Establish accountability with another you trust:

(2)  Daily and specifically pray for personal purity:

(3)  Memorize key Scripture passages about this:

(4)  Program your mind for godliness, guarding it:

(5) Put logical hedges between yourself and the opposite sex:

(6) Have a realistic view of your sexual nature, developing a mindset of obedience in view of it:

2.  Like Esther, we are called to prepare ourselves for the day we will meet our King, to one day be wed to Him.  The external beauty that this world desires can be cultivated, but there is no easy path toward developing the heart that God wants you to have and that will shine forth attractively to those around you.  What are some things that you have found helpful in getting ready for that day, to build yourself more into the person God has called you to be?  What are some changes you see that you need to make, or things you need to stop doing to better prepare yourself for Him?  Please share some thoughts about this here, and also discuss these with your group.

3.  Esther 2 has also reminded us of the providence of God in action, even on those “small days” where nothing seems to be happening.  Think about these three truths[xix] we can glean from what we have seen in Esther about God’s sovereign providence in our lives.  Record how they impact how you view each day of your life.

(1)  God’s plans cannot be hindered by world events, whether they are spiritual or earthly in nature:

(2)  God’s purposes for us will still be accomplished despite our own human weakness and failure:

(3)  We are not excluded from His purposes because of our background, hardships, or handicaps that could exclude us from worldly success:

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.

Isaiah 43:1

[i] John MacArthur, ed., The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville:  Word Bibles, 1997), p. 686.
[ii] Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, eds., The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, 2003), p. 742.
[iii] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, 1994), pp. 1690, 2307.
[iv] Herbert L. Lockyer, All the Men of the Bible (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 142. 
[v] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament, p. 2381.
[vi] Herbert L. Lockyer, All the Men of the Bible, p. 246.
[vii] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., p. 2308.
[viii] Ibid., p. 1291.
[ix] Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, eds., The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament, pp. 460, 1211.
[x] Charles R. Swindoll, Esther, a Woman of Strength and Dignity (Nashville:  Word Publishing, 1997), p. 45.
[xi] Herbert L. Lockyer, All the Men of the Bible, p. 297.
[xii] Joyce G. Baldwin, Esther (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1984), pp. 66, 68.
[xiii] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., p. 2316.
[xiv] Ibid., p. 2298.
[xv] Mervin Breneman, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.  In E. Ray Clendenen, ed., The New American Commentary Vol. 10 (Nashville:  Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1993), p. 321. 
[xvi] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., p. 2362.
[xvii] John A. Martin, Esther.  In John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1985), pp. 204, 205.
[xviii] R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man (Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 1991), pp. 28-31.
[xix] Based on Charles R. Swindoll, Esther, a Woman of Strength and Dignity, p. 37, 38.

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