Sunday, March 11, 2012

Esther Bible Study - Chapter 4

Esther 4:1-3
This chapter opens by saying, “When Mordecai perceived all that was done…” Therefore he knew that the day was coming when he and his people would be put to death. His reaction to this was humility. We are told that Mordecai, “rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes.”

Wearing sackcloth and ashes was an ancient custom that is often synonymous with repentance. It signifies being broken and humble before the Lord.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17, KJV

Mordecai was in need of a savior. This is the same attitude that unbelievers would have if they only accepted that that they are in danger of judgement and condemnation without the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

Examine your life to see if you are in the faith? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior? Have you come to a place in your life where you understand that sin leads to death, and repentance leads to life?

Esther 4:4-7

It’s obvious from verse 8 that Esther wasn’t aware of the pending doom. She didn’t understand why Mordecai was in sackcloth and ashes. I find this portion of scripture very interesting given that Mordecai represents the Spirit that is given to each believer. We are told in John chapter 16 that, “when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (v.8)

The Holy Spirit is that voice inside us that convicts us of sin, while encouraging us to do better. Is there anything in your life that you’ve recently been convicted of or encouraged to improve upon?

Esther 4:8-11

In verse eight we see Mordecai urging Esther to go to the King, ”Charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.”

Esther replies, “Do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (v.11)

Compare this with Matthew 16:24-6, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

What instruction does this offer to believers today?

In much the same way, the Holy Spirit guides us toward paths of righteousness. We aren’t called to do the easy thing, we’re called to do the right thing. This goes against the modern mindset which will tell you, “If it feels good, it must be right.”

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13, KJV

What are some difficult things that you’ve endured for the sake of Christ? Looking back, can you see how you’ve been sharpened and matured by the trials?

Is there are trial in your life right now? Can you find a way to rejoice?

Esther 4: 12-14

I love how Mordecai expresses wisdom to Esther here. He tells her that God can bring deliverance for His people from another place. But he points out that when God gives us an opportunity to serve Him we must take it. It is an honor and a privilege to serve God.

With that said, I have to point out that he didn’t actually use the word, “God.” He said that “deliverance” would arise for the Jews. In fact the word, “God” doesn’t appear at all in the book of Esther. It’s the only book of the Bible that doesn’t use the word, with Song of Solomon coming in at a close second.

This is the most popular verse in the book of Esther: “For such a time as this.” These words suggest to Esther that this was her purpose and the very reason she was in the Kings palace.

Esther 4:15-17

Understanding her call, Esther is obedient to the faith and takes a step toward salvation. She asks that all of the Jews, including herself and her maidens fast for three days and three nights at which time she will approach the king.

She ends her plea by saying, “If I perish, I perish.”

Compare her attitude to Philippians 3:8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

At the end of this chapter we see a change in Esther’s heart as she is ready and willing to lose her life to gain her salvation. What do you think affected her decision most?

That is the end of our chapter. Come back on Wednesday for chapter five!

And don't forget, tomorrow is Titus 2sdays, so if you're a blogger, come back and link up with your post on marriage, parenting, housekeeping or recipes.

Find the other chapters here:

Esther Chapter 6

If you are studying along with us this week, you are welcome to leave a link to your site in the Linky tool below. But rather than linking up with a graphic from your blog like we usually do, it would be nice if you could post your profile photo so we can all see each other. If you don't have one--not a problem, another graphic will do. The Linky tool is just a way for all of us to get to know each other, it's not necessary to write a corresponding post.

I'm also posting the button code to the Bible study in hopes that you can add it to your post or sidebar.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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