After nine sessions with the story of Esther, you'll discover how godly character develops under pressure, and you'll gain ideas for living a godly life in the midst of contemporary pressures.
Getting the Most Out of Esther
This section introduces the topic, explains the structure followed in each study and offers tips for those approaching the study on their own as well as those participating in a group.
A Little Respect
How does each of the main characters in this chapter (King Xerxes, Vashti, the wise men) view gaining and maintaining respect? What are some ways you have been trying to gain respect that are not godly or helpful?
Trusting God's Work
The author mentions three times that Esther won approval in someone's eyes. Do you know someone who finds favor with others because of presence and personality? How can you begin living out one of the characteristics of this person?
How does Haman persuade the king to adopt his plan to destroy the Jews? What are some ways you can evaluate the advice you receive from others?
Doing the Right Thing
In this chapter, how do you see God's sovereignty and people's responses working together? What character qualities does Esther show throughout this passage?
The Heart of the Matter
Esther and Haman are a lesson in contrasts throughout the book. Where in your own life do you see the qualities of Esther and the qualities of Haman?
God has been working quietly to bring together many of the incidents recorded in this chapter. He uses insignificant things to work out his plans. Describe a time where God used an insignificant thing in your life for his purposes.
Character No Matter What
How is justice carried out in the lives of Esther, Mordecai and Haman? How can you do what is right in a situation of injustice? How will you respond if justice is not served?
Praising God's Faithfulness
Esther felt deep concern and compassion for her people. For what person or group of people would you like to have that same kind of concern? How might you develop compassion for them?
Remembering & Celebrating
Throughout Scripture God instructs his people to commemorate the times when he acted to provide for and save his them. Why is remembering God's acts of faithfulness important for Christians?
Total number of pages - 75 pages
Patty Pell (M.A., Old Testament Studies, Denver Seminary) is a staff worker with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado and at Christ Community Church in Greeley, Colorado. She is a coauthor of Small Group Leaders' Handbook and several study guides in the N. T. Wright for Everyone series. She is also the author of the author of the LifeGuide® Bible Study Hospitality.