The Story:
Discussing Chapter 20

by Living Springs Community Church on April 10, 2016

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“The Story” is an opportunity to experience the Bible in its chronological order. The Living Springs family is reading The Story together during the week, and our Sunday messages will help us process and apply what we’ve been reading. If you are in a group or family that is studying The Story together, you can use the questions below to spark discussion.

Chapter 20: The Queen of Beauty and Courage

Based on Esther 1–9

  • Xerxes’ reign in Persia
  • Esther becomes queen of Persia
  • Esther saves the Jews from Haman’s murderous plot
  • Days of Purim are established

Breaking the ice

To you, what makes a good party?

Digging in

The book of Esther has been called “the Godless book” because God’s name is never mentioned. Prayer, the Law, sacrifices, and temple worship are also conspicuously absent. But Esther’s story offers ample evidence of God’s active involvement in individual lives and international politics—even when we don’t recognize Him by name.

Reflecting

  1. The book of Esther is full of parallel incidents with contrasting outcomes. For example, Queen Vashti refuses to enter the king’s presence when summoned, while Queen Esther enters the king’s presence without being summoned. What other contrasting incidents or examples of irony do you find?
  2. What do you learn from Haman about pride, self-centeredness, and hatred?
  3. What risk was Queen Esther taking by approaching the king? How did she prepare for this risk?
  4. Why do you think the king received Esther when she approached him?
  5. “If I perish, I perish.” Queen Esther was willing to die to request protection for her people. But a risk does not have to be life-or-death to be frightening. Job loss, gossip, damaged relationships—have you ever had to take a stand that might risk something like this?

Praying

God is always at work, whether we recognize Him or not. Pray for faith that is clearer than vision, and pray for evidence when your faith feels weak.

 

For next week…

Chapter 21: Rebuilding the Walls

Based on Ezra 7; Nehemiah 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8; Malachi 1–4

  • Second return of exiles to Jerusalem under Ezra
  • Last group of exiles return to Jerusalem under Nehemiah
  • Exiles face opposition in rebuilding the wall
  • Jerusalem’s wall rebuilt
  • Malachi’s ministry
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