Esther: God in the background. The Story: Chapter 1. -A long and extravagant party. -An indecent proposal. -A very assertive Queen. -A royal drama, and some poor advice. -A very speedy divorce. -Business as usual.
Chapter 2: -A beauty pageant. -Mordecai, the godly counsellor enters the scene. -The Heroine, Esther enters the scene, and is told to hide her identity. -Esther is treated to 6 months of perfume and 6 months with cosmetics. -The King is struck by Esthers beauty, and orders a holiday in her name. -Mordecai saves the kings life. (remember this)
Chapter 3. -The evil Haman is introduced. -Haman is honoured by the king to be second in charge. Everyone bows down to honour Haman…. -Mordecai refuses to bow down to Haman. -Haman requests that the King lets him kill all the Jews, including Mordecai. -The King and Haman roll dice over when they will kill all the Jews. (13 th January is chosen)
Chapter 4. -The Jews are terrified, refuse to eat and they wail. -Mordecai visits Esther and request her help. -Esther refuses, as she is unsure the King wants her any more, and there is a risk of death. -Mordecai is VERY persuasive. -Esther agrees and asks everyone to fast in solidarity with her.
Chapter 5. -Esther approaches the King uninvited, and when offered half the kingdom, she offers to cook a meal for the King and Haman prior to making her request. -Esther cooks a meal, then offers to cook another meal for the King and Haman. Haman feels honoured. -Haman again sees Mordecai and complains to his family about him. They encourage him to have Mordecai killed early, so he creates a massive Gallows.
Chapter 6. -The King has a sleepless night, reads and discovers that Mordecai saved his life, and realises he never thanked him. -The King calls for Haman and asks for advice on how to honour a great man. -Haman, thinking the great man is him, comes up with the equivalent of a tickertape parade. -The King commands Haman to lead the parade to honour Mordecai. Haman is very sad.
Chapter 7. -Esther hosts another banquet for the two men. -The King offers Esther half the kingdom. -Esther confesses to be Jewish, asks for her people to be spared and accuses Haman of conspiring to kill her and all her people. -The King is enraged and goes outside to think. -Haman begs Esther for his life. -The King thinks Haman is raping his wife and has Haman executed on the Gallows he had made.
Chapter 8. -Mordecai is given everything of Hamans, including his station as Prime Minister. -The King writes another law that says the Jews can defend themselves. -The Jews begin to feel relief, which turns to joy, which turns to partying.
Chapter 9 and 10. -The Kings Administrators and Nobles helped the Jews in defending themselves against people who hated and attacked them. -There were a lot of people who hated the Jews. -After the battle, the Jewish nation started an annual celebration that became the highlight of the calendar, and it involved feasting, and giving gifts to the poor. -They were celebrating rescue and salvation.
Context: Characters: Heroes Villians The crowds, both good and bad.
The themes: God can be subtle, silent, latent and still achieves as much as when he is obvious, loud and instant. God made you, individually for a purpose. Bitterness can mean you cease living. Joy and suffering is best felt in a group.
Noticing God in the plain and the normal: (Compare with Exodus) An egotistical King A beautiful woman with a secret identity. A forgotten act of kindness. A sleepless night. A decision to be generous: cooking 2 meals instead of 1.
Noticing the reason we are alive. Tell Esther, Dont be fooled. Just because you are living inside the kings palace doesnt mean that you out of all of the Jews will escape the carnage. You must go before your king. 14 If you stay silent during this time, deliverance for the Jews will come from somewhere, but you, my child, and all of your fathers family will die. And who knows? Perhaps you have been made queen for such a time as this.