The World is Not Enough: The Stage-Setting of the World's True Sovereign

Brian Mahon - 7/4/2021


Call to worship: Jeremiah 9:23-24

Text: Esther 1

Sermon Outline:

  1. The exposing of the world's most powerful man.
    • Ahasuerus' front of glory and might, 1:1-8.
    • Ahasuerus' exposing sin and plight, 1:9-22.
  2. The stage-setting of the world's true Sovereign.
    • This thing called Providence.
    • The One we call King Jesus.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Esther 1. As you do, be mindful of what you think might serve as cross-sections with the New Testament, texts that address what we see of the characters throughout chapter 1. And for that matter, any forerunning Old Testament texts come to mind as you read of a king, a palace, a garden, a feast?
  2. In 1:1-8, what is the author's intent? Historical side note: it's largely thought that this gathering was prior to Ahasuerus' invasion of Greece, and that he's trying to generate support throughout his provinces for the military campaign. Why would this show of glory and might be perceived as useful to that end?
  3. There are only two structures described in such glorious details. One is this king's palace. Thoughts on the other? Anything to see there theologically related to Ahasuerus' self-image?
  4. In 1:9, we're introduced to Queen Vashti. Her response to the king's drunken request is the pendulum of chapter 1. What's the request? What's it's context? What's her response? Note: though it can be a frustrating thing, the author of Esther hardly, if ever, takes moral sides. There's no indication in the text that Vashti did well, no mention of her reasons or motives (though I think the following irony points in the Spirit's direction). What ironies do you spot in vv.13-22? Note: these 2,500 year old verses are not about the modern feminist movement. So how are they functioning? My outline offers my thought.
  5. This all leads to Esther. Is it all just circumstantial randomness that does so? Or is there, though hidden, a present Sovereign, a true Sovereign, orchestrating these events for His glory in Christ? And by way of Ahasuerus' negative kingship, are we not led to see a better King, a better Husband, even the Lord Jesus? Count the ways.
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