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Esther: Her Story of Survival

Focus Scripture: Esther 4:1-16

Cheryl Burris

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Esther: Her Story of Survival

ESTHER: A Story of Survival
The Courage of Hathach, the Messenger
Read Esther 4:4-9
Establishing Our Focus
When I was a kid, Readers’ Digest was a popular magazine in our house. While I loved the
jokes, it was also always filled with
inspiring stories of survival.

It is stories of survival that make me think about human nature and our own survival instincts.
But what are survival instincts?

Collins Dictionary defines survival instincts this way: the instinct in humans and animals to do things
in a dangerous situation that will
prevent them from dying
Questions to Ponder
What comes to mind when you
think of survival instincts?

What actions come to mind with
the two words "survival instincts"?

Can you think of any factors or situations
that may trigger your own survival instincts?
was an orphan brought
up by her cousin, Mordecai.
When Queen Vashti fell out of
favor with King Achashverosh,
he looked for a beautiful
girl to replace
After an
elaborate beauty contest,
Esther was chosen, but she was
told by Mordecai not to tell
anyone she was a Jew.
Within the court of the king,
a man named Haman ruled
over all the princes.
The Courage of Mordecai
Read Esther 4:1-3
1. Upon hearing the edict, how did
Mordecai and the Jews express their grief?
Esther's Discouraging Message
Read Esther 4: 10-12
Support by Mordecai
Read Esther 4: 12-14

The Courage of Esther
Read Esther 4: 15-16
Slide 1 - Mosaic http://www.lilianbroca.com/index.php/queen-esther-revealing-her-true-identity.php

Slide 4- King Achashverosh holds out his scepter to Queen Esther http://estherhecht.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/image-of-queen-esther-and-king-achashverosh-from-an-illuminated-manuscript-called-the-north-french-hebrew-miscellany-written-in-1431.jpg?w=450

Slide 9 - Mordecai and the Jews mourn the decree http://bibleencyclopedia.com/pictures/Esther_4_Mordecai_and_the_Jews_mourn_the_decree.htm

Slide 12 - Hathach http://bible.phillipmartin.info/bible_ecclesiastes.htm

Slide 17 – Illustration is a copyright of the Review and Herald Publishing Associates

Slide 20 – Mordecai sits at the gate writing to Esther http://www.biblevisuals.org/look_inside_OT28_illustrations

Slide 24 – Esther and her handmaids kneel in prayer and fast http://www.biblevisuals.org/look_inside_OT28_illustrations

Slide 28 – Esther and Mordecai, 1685 by Aert de Gelder (1645-1727), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aert_de_Gelder_004.jpg
Everyone bowed
down to Haman except
Mordecai. This
angered Haman, and to get revenge, he sought to have
Mordecai and all the
Jews killed.
the Jews of not obeying the
king's laws, Haman convinced the
king to issue an order to destroy, to kill, and to put an end to all of the Jews ... young and old ... women and children - ALL IN ONE DAY!
Hearing of the king's edict,
Mordecai told Esther
she must act!
Read Esther Chapters 1-3
Good Stuff to Know
Credits and Resources
Mordecai and the Jews
lament about the
dangers before
to Ponder
Verse 6
The messenger find Mordecai in the most public of public
spaces - in front of the king's gate.

Verse 7
Out in the middle of everything and everybody, Mordecai
tells the messenger what is happening - including the
amount of the bounty on the heads of the Jewish people.
Verse 8
Mordecai send a copy of the royal proclamation
with the messenger to give to Esther.

Verse 9
The messenger delivered the
message to Esther.
Question to Ponder
During all of this, what
difficult circumstances
does the messenger
find himself?
Verse 4
Esther finds out something is wrong, is upset by
the situation with Mordecai, and sends proper clothes
for him to wear to the palace so he can tell her what is
going on. However, he refuses.

Verse 5
Esther sends a messenger to Mordecai to
found out what is wrong.
Verse 10-12
Esther sends her message to
Mordecai by Hathach. However, her
message is rather discouraging.

Essentially, Esther is asking...
"What do you want
me to do about it?"
Think about the different attitudes
people use to express her thoughts,
"What do you want me do about it?"

Or...maybe, it was a request for reassurance:

She looked for encouragement to remove doubts and
fears for she knew what had to be done.
Finally...it may have been evasive:

She would be required to risk her life to help her people,
a commitment she was unwilling to make.
Verse 13-14
Mordecai reminds her she will not escape just
because she lives there. She will face the same end as
the Jews regardless of her address.

Additionally, he tells her if she doesn't help then God will
provide someone else to help,but it will be the
end of her family line.

He also expresses his belief that she could be used to
save the Jews because she was placed where she
is currently located by
God Himself.
Why do you think God is not named, listed,
or even mentioned in today's scriptures?

Before we begin, let's learn how to Navigate:

FIRST - Move your mouse to the bottom of the screen.

Do you see the arrows at the bottom, center of the screen as well as two icons in the lower
right corner? You may use the right arrows to advance to the next slide or the left arrow to return to the previous slide. The far right icon will change the size of the screen and the stopwatch icon will permit you to auto run the presentation. You may also use the blue slide bar located just
above the arrows to guide yourself between slides. Just move the blue circle to navigate.

SECOND - Move your mouse to the middle, right side of the screen.

Do you see the magnification glass with a "+" and another one with a "-"?
The "+" will allow you to zoom in and the "-" will allow you to zoom out.
You will also see a house icon. This will take you to the overview of the
entire presentation so you can see everything. You can also press
the "esc" key on your keyboard to escape the large screen.
Finally, in the upper right corner, you will
find an "X" to exit the program.
Here, we see Esther overcame fear for her life because she knew she had a higher responsibility to God. She believed God was involved in the situation by asking the Jews to fast and pray.
Question to Ponder
Why do you think Esther decided to risk her life?
Question to Ponder
One, it may have been factual:

She did not have open access to the king and
did not know when she would see him again.
Or...it may have been a request for help:

She did not know how to gain access but
maybe Mordecai would know.
...as well as this.
...and this...
Consider this...
Question to Ponder
Closing Thoughts
Do you rely more on your earthly or heavenly survival instincts?
Just as with Esther, when we face a crisis we need to rely on our
Christian Survival Instincts,
we need to:
1st - Gather with the people of God
2nd - Focus solely on God
3rd - Follow God with
complete faith
It takes courageous obedience to seek
God, put our future in His hands, and
follow His plan for our lives.

As you consider your own situation,
which character from today's
scripture do you most
As you continue to reflect
on your own situation,
did you offer help to others with a selfish or
selfless hand?
This is a opportunity for you to check you knowledge on this study of Esther.

true or false
Esther was chosen to replace Queen Vashti.
Queen Vashti fell out of favor with King Achashverosh

true or false
Esther sends a messenger, named Haman, to Mordecai to find out what is wrong.
the messenger's name was Hathach
Question 3
What would be a modern day equivalent for the ways people express their grief or dissatisfaction with circumstances they can’t change?
protests, signature campaigns, hunger strikes, etc.
In verses 1-3, when Mordecai was lamenting about the danger before him,
what other reactions could he have taken instead?
pretend he was not Jewish, leave the area, etc.
What do you think is the difficult circumstance the messenger
finds himself in during all of this?
If Haman learned of his assistance and willingness to participate, he would likely have been executed.
Why do you think God is not named or listed in our scriptures today?
Following God’s will was an intrinsic part of Esther's decision making process. As a result, she did not have to be reminded to consult God.
Why do you think Esther decided to risk her life?
She could not ignore her responsibility to the Jewish people to act as God’s agent so they could be spared.
Thank you for participating in this Bible study on Esther.

I hope it challenged you to view her situation from a new perspective and brought you closer in
your walk with Christ.
by: Cheryl Burris
Background scripture: ESTHER Chapters 1-3
Focus scripture: ESTHER 4:1-16
This Bible study is the first in our series, Great Women and Bad Girls of the Bible.
This study is intended for young adults as well as those who are young at heart.
Don't let the title fool you, this study is not just women but for men too!
1. EXAMINE a difficult period of Esther's life
2. DISCOVER how she found courage
3. LEARN how to stand and believe in God when the easier option is to run away
4. DETERMINE how we can find courage in the face of our own difficult times
2. What would be a modern day version for the ways people express their grief or dissatisfaction with the circumstances they can't change?
3. What other reactions could have been taken instead?
Full transcript