Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17 - Small Group News!

Tonight at 8 PM, make plans to join Authentic Living Ministries for another great study on the life of one of the Bible's more well-known women, Esther.

An orphan in a foreign land, she was willing to conceal her Jewish identity in a bid for a pagan king’s affection. Esther seemed willing to make moral compromises by sleeping with the king and then taking part in a wedding that would necessarily have required her to pay homage to foreign gods. Even so, she displayed great courage in the midst of a crisis. Prior to risking her life for her people, she humbled herself by fasting and then put her considerable beauty, social grace, and wisdom in the service of God’s plan.

Her story can be found in Esther 1-3

Our questions for tonight are:
  1. By concealing her Jewishness and being willing to become a member of King Xerxes’ harem, Esther seemed to be caving in to the pagan culture in which she lived. What do you think of her actions in this regard? 
  2. From other ancient sources we know that Esther’s husband, the king, was legendary for his irrational temper and fits of cruelty. Describe Esther’s dilemma. What will happen if she does nothing? What might happen if she does what Mordecai asks? 
  3. Look at 4:12 – 14. What do you see in Mordecai’s words that might have motivated Esther to take the risk? Why does Esther ask all the city’s Jews to fast (4:15 – 16)? 
  4. God is never named in the original Hebrew version of this story, nor does the writer mention prayer. Where, if anywhere, do you see God in this story? 6. Esther’s position was no accident, and neither is yours. Think about the time and people among whom God has placed you. What might God have for you to do right where you are now?

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