Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
These chapters of Esther are a pivoting point in the whole story. We just learned that Haman has made a decree to kill all the Jews. In response, Esther and Mordecai have come up with a plan to turn the tables on Haman. After praying and fasting for three days, Esther approached the king and invited him and Haman to a banquet she prepared for them. This pleased the king and he offered Esther anything she could want, “up to half the kingdom”. Ester insisted that the king and Haman return the next day for a second banquet before she answered the king. In the time between these two banquets, Haman is so enraged by Mordecai’s indifference to him, that he plans to petition the king to have Mordecai impaled on a pole he sets up in his own yard. Things don’t seem to be looking good for Mordecai or the Jews… But before Haman can do that, the king remembered that Mordecai had saved his life from assassins, so he wished to honor Mordecai. Haman realizes he has made a mistake in targeting the Jews, but before he can rectify the situation, Esther’s second banquet is served to the king and to Haman. Here, the king asks Esther what she wishes, and Esther pleads for her life and the lives of the Jews, and reveals Haman’s plans. The king is enraged and impales Haman on the very pole that Haman built to kill Mordecai.
What is one key verse?
“Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life- this is my petition. And spare my people- this is my request.’”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
In the book of Esther, the Jews are still in exile, God has, in a sense, abandoned them, but He has not forgotten them, and His plan was only to exile them, not have them put to death, so He used Esther to intervene for His will… God is never far from us, even if it seems like He has abandoned us, He is still in control. (Which is kind of a funny coincidence for what is going on in life right now).
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
It definitely solidifies the fact that when we choose to uplift ourselves above others, God will knock us down a peg or two. We should never think of ourselves so important and get ahead of ourselves to the point that God has to punish us, and He would, just as He did with Haman. On the other hand, if we choose to trust in God’s will, even if it seems He has abandoned us, He will honor us and save us.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
We must all love and honor one another rather than loving and honoring only ourselves. God does not love the proud, but loves those who serve and love one another. I must choose every day to love and serve others and to not boast myself up above anyone.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
I saw Jesus in the moments that Esther approached the King and held a banquet for him, and after the second banquet, pleaded for her life. It reminded me of when Jesus was in Gethsemane praying to God, the King, and pleading for his life.