Esther risks her life
Scripture: Esther 4:1-17
Aim: To help the pupil understand that Esther was willing to suffer whatever fate may come to her in order that she may be faithful to Jehovah God and her people, the Jews.
Golden Text: “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me…: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
The book of Esther gives a refreshing story about the faithfulness of a young Jewish woman who was used of Jehovah to deliver the Jewish people from distinction in Persia in the fifth century B. C. Esther’s parents were dead, and she was reared by an uncle, Mordecai. Being a beautiful young woman, she was chosen to join the maidens of Shushan, Persia, to be groomed with other maidens in order that the king could choose a new queen (Esther chapters 2:1-7).
When Esther was brought to the palace, she was placed under the charge of Hegai, keeper of the maidens (2:8). Esther immediately became the favorite of Hegai (2:9). As a result Esther received all the beauty aids and special treatment (2:9).
When the time came for king Ahasuerus to choose the queen, Esther stood out above all the others; and so, she was chosen to be the new queen (2:16-17).
On one occasion two men plotted against the king. Mordecai overheard and reported the matter to the queen (Esther, his ward). In turn Esther told the king, resulting in the death of the hanging of the two men who planned to kill the king (3:21-23).
Haman, a proud Persian prince, hated Mordecai because he was a Jew and would not bow down and worship him (3:1-5). As a result, in order to not seem partial against Mordecai, Haman planned to have all the Jews of the kingdom of Persia killed (3:6). Haman brought a charge against the Jews before the king, accusing them of being a people who posed a grave threat to the kingdom (Chapter 3). Letters were sent out to all provinces announcing a special day for all people to kill all Jews (3:13-15).
I. Mordecai put on sackcloth and took up a position before the palace (4:1-2). Throughout the land of Persia all Jews put on sackcloth, because they mourned over their impending death (4:3). Mordecai was brought to the attention of Esther.
II. Esther sent to find out what was going on (4:4-12). Esther sent Hatach, a trusted servant, to Mordecai. Hatach brought a message and a copy of the letter ordering the destruction of the Jews. She knew that Mordecai wanted her to go to the king. She sent him word that no woman could come before the king unless called, and he had not called her for 30 days (vs. 10).
III. Mordecai sent her word back that she was a Jew, and she, perhaps for this time, was brought into the place as queen in order to help her people (4:13-17). Esther received the answer and sent word back to her uncle that she would go to the king after three days of fasting (vs. 16). She asked that her uncle gather the Jews to pray and fast. She was resolved to do what Jehovah would have her do in trying to deliver her people from death (see the Golden Text above).
Herein is our lesson for this week. The Lord is at work on behalf of His people. He places people in various places to be a testimony and helper in His name to others in order that God and His people will be glorified. He expects each Christian to be faithful to do whatever he or she can do for the kingdom of God and the help of others. If the believer will be faithful and obedient to God, He will us him to accomplish His will in the same manner as He did with Esther.
Let us take our stand for truth and righteousness even at the peril of our life. To God be the glory, and “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).