Moral Lessons From The Book Of Esther Bible Study# : How To Be A Good Leader
There are a number of leadership models in this book of Esther Bible Study. Lets look at three of the Esther leadership qualities found in this book:
King Ahasuerus seemed to have been an impulsive leaderone who did what he pleased regardless of the consequences. Several times we see the words if it pleases the king and it pleased the king. King Ahasuerus was quite content to have the Jews wiped out because his favorite prince requested it. He didnt display any compassion or concern for the people whod lose their lives as a result.
Haman taught me the dangers of being too caught up in self to notice the little man. After Hamans promotion, King Ahasuerus ordered everyone to bow before him. Haman didnt notice that Mordecai didnt bow before him until someone told him. And then, he was so mad about the slight, he decided to destroy Mordecai and all his people. This type of leader is dangerous as they make decisions based on personal feelings and not whats best for the people they serve.
Mordecai leadership style seemed to have been one of empowerment. The Bible had this to say about him:
For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen .
What Made Esther So Special
Queen Esther acted courageously when she made the decision to gather Shushans Jews, fast and approach the king. She had courage to plan the feasts and her timing to make her requests. She further had courage to beg King Ahasuerus to save the Jews after Hamans demise and make further requests. Courage breeds courage.
Moral Lessons From The Book Of Esther Bible Study# : How To Have A Positive Attitude
As we go through life, sometimes bad things will happen. People hurt us, leave or die. Circumstances dont work out as we hopedor plannedthey would. Our positive attitude is the key to handling difficult situations. Esther had really hard things happen in her life but she maintained a positive attitude.
When we read the book of Esther, we tend to focus on the fairy-tale aspect of the captive girl being elevated to the status of queen. We sometimes forget this young, woman had been taken from her home and family and placed in a harem against her will. No one asked Esther if she wanted to become a queen.
And she experienced other difficult things:
Her people were captured
She lost both parents. Esther 2:7 tells us the young girl was an orphan and had been adopted by her cousin Mordecai.
She was taken from Mordecais home and, for a period of time, was cut off from him. Living in the harem meant she would not have any contact with him as the only persons allowed to associate with the kings harem were the eunuchs whom he had selected.
Her people were threatened with genocide.
While the Bible doesnt go into detail about how she handled the challenges in her life, we get the impression that Esther was someone who put her best self forward. Thats why she was able to please Hegai, the keeper of the harem, and the king.
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What Are The Characteristics Of Esther In The Bible
This short story highlights some of the characteristics of Esther in the Bible. Lets focus on her more admirable traits to see what we can learn from Queen Esther.
1. Obedient: one of the main characteristics of Esther in the Bible is her biddability. She obeyed Mordecai when he told her to hide her faith and her people . She also accepted Hegais advice on what to was to request before going in to see the king .
2. Brave: we often think that bravery is the absence of fear. But a better definition of bravery is doing what needs to be done even if it scares you. Going before the king without being summoned scared Esther, but she was willing to do it for other people .
3. Selfless: its not every day that someone is willing to die so that others could be saved . Jesus immediately comes to mind but there are not many other examples. It could also be that the story of Esther in the Bible offers a spiritual lesson of what Jesus would later do for His people and all humanity.
4. Smart: Esther knew that flattery would get her further with the king than pleas and petitions, at least in the beginning. Thats why she arranged two banquets that pondered to the kings vanity and Hamans ego before she told the king what she really wanted .
5. Humble: its not every day that you see a queen weeping and begging at the feet of anyone, even if its a king. But thats what Esther did. She wasnt too proud to humble herself before the king on behalf of her people .
Moral Lessons From The Book Of Esther # : The Importance Of Good Advisors
The most notable example of bad advice for me was Hamans wife and friends. After explaining how upset he was because Mordecai refused to bow, their advice was to erect a gallows and seek the kings permission to have him hung on them .
Poor advice can cause us to to treat others carelessly. In this case, the advice was to have a man killed before going on to enjoy a banquet with the royal couple. Proverbs 11:14 says:
Where there is no counsel, the people fall but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 .
This was played out several times in the book of Esther, and especially in Hamans life.
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Star Of Persia: Esthers Story Review
The story of Esther is one Ive loved since I was a child. It was the perfect rags to riches story and I loved the idea of a queen who saved her people. But I have to admit, Ive had mixed feelings about Vashti. Maybe it was because the Bible had so little to say about her. Or maybe it was because Esthers story overshadowed hers.
Jill Eileen Smith humanized her for me. She took the material that I had studied about the culture of the Persians about the possible reasons for Vashtis refusal and made it personal for me. Her treatment of Vashtis character was done with compassion and eloquence and I will forever hold both Esther and Vashti in high esteem.
Know God: some of the questions Esther asked are still being asked today. Does God truly care about us? Does he hear our prayers? Will he answer?
As she learned more about His character, her response changed. Yes, He cares. Yes, He hears prayers, and yes, He will answer.
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Know yourself: Esthers character did a lot of growing up. She went from a child who dreamed about marriageto a woman desperate to have her own familyto the wife of a king.
Throughout the novel, we get a sense that at her core she was a woman of integrity. At the same time, there are characters like Amestris that were bent on destroying everything and anyone who got in their way.
Purchase your copy of . I received an advanced readers copy through the Revell Reads program a positive review was not required.
What Can We Learn From Esther
Esther demonstrated exceptional bravery and strength, willing to fulfill Gods purpose for her life, whatever the cost. While she could have been killed for visiting the king unannounced, she knew that a cause greater than herself was at stake. She willingly risked her life in order to have a chance to speak with the king, and because of her bravery, the mass slaughter of her people was stopped.
Esthers role also reminds us of the fact that God has a unique purpose for each and every one of our lives. As a young orphaned Jewish girl living in Persia, Esther could have never imagined she would become queen and save all the Jews in Persia. Yet, God uses the least of us to accomplish his will, reminding us that it is in his strength, not our own, that we succeed.
Esther is portrayed touching the kings scepter in a window in the .
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Dating Queen Esther Of The Bible
As is the case in many situations regarding the Old Testament, the date of the Book of Esther remains a subject of debate amongst scholars. Queen Esther of the Bible became queen to King Ahasuerus of Persia. Two theories exist regarding the identity of this Persian king. The Septuagint and Josephus claim this king was Artaxerxes II. He reigned in Persia from 404 – 359 B.C.
Most scholars, however, agree that this king represents Xerxes I. His Persian name was Khshayarsha. Xerxes I reigned in Persia from 486 B.C. – 464 B.C. Queen Esther of the Bible is said to have ascended to the queenship in 479 B.C. This is founded upon Esther 2:16, which states Xerxes claimed Esther queen of Persia “in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign”.
Bible history.com states Queen Esther of the Bible ascended to the queenship ca. 478 B.C. They have an excellent list of the Persian kings and their dates as well.
Two lines of thought exist on the writing of the Book of Esther. Jon Bright, in his book A History of Israel, states that “Though many place it in the Maccabean period, a date late in the fourth century is not implausible”.
Michael Grant claims the book is not based on historical fact, and “may” date from the “second century B.C.” Yet, the date surrounding the Book of Esther remains uncertain and under debate. He argues no extra-biblical source mentions Queen Esther of the Bible.
THE PERSIAN EMPIRE & QUEEN ESTHER
Negative Qualities Of Esther In The Bible
Although Esther is most known for her courage and bravery, it is important to note that she was not perfect.
One negative quality of Esther was her initial reaction to Mordecais request to do something about the threat made against the Jews.
Esther was afraid of the king and afraid to lose her life.
For a moment there, Esther forgot the faithfulness of God and the power of her faith to change things.
If Mordecai had not reminded her of who she was and of her calling, who knows what might have happened.
But Esther for sure pulled herself together and prepared for warfare.
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Became Queen Of Persia
In 478 B.C., Esther became the queen of Persia. Previously, she was a member of the harem of the Persian king Ahasuerus, who was also known as King Xerxes. But when the former queen, Vashti, fell into disfavor with her husband, Ahasuerus, the king chose Esther to be his wife and queen.
Ahasuerus now sought a replacement queen and wife among the beautiful young virgins of his kingdom. He ordered the most attractive maidens to be brought before him. One of these included Esther. At the time, Esther was only fourteen years old, but she possessed remarkable beauty as well as charm and precocious tact. When her opportunity finally came to appear before the king, Ahasuerus was immediately taken with Esther’s attractiveness, and he made her his new queen. Esther’s adopted uncle Mordecai remained constantly near the palace, so that he would be able advise her in all matters. As his first bit of counsel, he told her to conceal the fact that she was Jewish. It has been suggested that Mordecai served as a gatekeeper, and this position enabled him to stay in continual communication with Esther.
Once, while at the palace gate, Mordecai overheard a plot being hatched by two of the king’s eunuchs to kill Ahasuerus. Mordecai revealed this information to Esther, who then told the king about the plot. After an investigation, the eunuchs were executed, and Mordecai’s loyalty and aid to the king was recorded in the chronicles of the kingdom.
Names In Esthers Story
- Esthermeans hidden her Jewish identity was hidden from the King. Esthers Jewish name Hadassah, means myrtle, a tree whose leaves release their fragrance when crushed.
- Ahasuerus means ruler of heroes he is thought to be based on the Persian emperor Xerxes, whom Leonidas fought with the famous 300.
- Vashti means sweetheart or beloved
The names Esther and Mordecai may be related to stories about the Persian deities Ishtar and Marduk. Ishtar was the Babylonian goddess of love. was the principal male god of Babylon. Haman and Vashti may correspond to the Elamite gods Humman and Mashti.
These similarities suggest that the Book of Esther was based on an older Babylonian story that the Jewish people heard during the Babylonian exile.
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Esther Needed Older Mentors
While Esther awaited her night with the king, we observe the depth of Mordecais love for his young cousin as he daily sought to learn of her well-being. Imagine how concerned Mordecai would have been for his beloved Esther.
Once Esther was queen, Mordecai proved to be a God-fearing man with a keen sense of discernment. He told Esther about a plot to kill the king that hed uncovered, which saved the kings life .
When Mordecai learned of a another plot to annihilate the Jews, he asked Esther to implore the king to step in. When out of fear she declined, Mordecai helped her realize the reason God choose her to be queen. He said, If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this .
Titus 2 calls the older to teach the younger, which means Gods plan is and has always been to mentor the next generation how to discern and follow His ways. Wherever you find yourself in life, learn from Esthers example to look to wiser, godly mentors to guide you through uncharted waters with eyes on Christ. And from Mordecais example dont forget theres always someone younger than you who needs to learn from your wisdom as well.
The Bible’s Story Of Esther
Esther lived in ancient Persia about 100 years after the Babylonian captivity. Her Hebrew name was Haddassah, which means “myrtle.” When Esther’s parents died, the orphaned child was adopted and raised by her older cousin Mordecai.
One day the king of the Persian Empire, Xerxes I, threw a lavish party. On the final day of the festivities, he called for his queen, Vashti, eager to flaunt her beauty to his guests. But the queen refused to appear before Xerxes. Filled with anger, he deposed Queen Vashti, and forever removed her from his presence.
To find his new queen, Xerxes hosted a royal beauty pageant and Esther was chosen for the throne. Her cousin Mordecai became a minor official in the Persian government of Susa.
Soon Mordecai uncovered a plot to assassinate the king. He told Esther about the conspiracy, and she reported it to Xerxes, giving credit to Mordecai. The plot was thwarted and Mordecai’s act of kindness was preserved in the chronicles of the king.
At this time, the king’s highest official was a wicked man named Haman. He hated the Jews, especially Mordecai, who had refused to bow down to him.
Haman devised a scheme to have every Jew in Persia killed. The king agreed to his plan to annihilate the Jewish people on a specific day. Meanwhile, Mordecai learned of the plot and shared it with Esther, challenging her with these famous words:
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Finding Christ In The Book Of Esther:
Esther, like Christ, puts herself in the place of death for her people but receives the approval of the king. She also portrays Christs work as Advocate on our behalf. This book reveals another satanic threat to destroy the Jewish people and thus, the messianic line. God continues to preserve His people in spite of opposition and danger, and nothing can prevent the coming of the Messiah.
Haman Plots Against The Jews
Following the foiled assassination attempt, Haman, a chief advisor to the king, periodically went outside the palace gates and demanded that the kings servants bow to him. But Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. This infuriated Haman, and after he discovered Mordecai was a Jew, he conceived a plot to exterminate the Jews.
When Mordecai heard of this, he asked Esther to plead with the king on their behalf. However, Esther reminded Mordecai that whoever went to the king uninvited would face the penalty of death unless he extended his golden scepter. Mordecai urged Esther to visit the king anyway, as Esther 4:13-16 relates:
Do not imagine that you are safe in the kings palace, you alone of all the Jews. Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source but you and your fathers house will perish. Who knowsperhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?
After hearing this, Esther asked Mordecai and the Jews in Susa to fast for three days, and she and her maids did the same. She said, I will go to the king, contrary to the law. If I perish, I perish!
On the third day, Esther went to see the king, and he extended his golden scepter to her, saying, What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even if it is half of my kingdom, it shall be granted you. Esther invited him to a banquet the following night, and he accepted. At that banquet, Esther invited him to a second banquet the next night.
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