Esther, Persian Beauty Queen: The Unexpected Rise of a Jewish Deliverer

Brian Mahon - 7/11/2021


Call to worship: Isaiah 52:13-53:6

Text: Esther 2:1-18

Sermon Outline:

  1. The ungodly help, 2:1-4.
  2. The unexpected hope, 2:5-18.
    • An old Jewish man in Susa, 2:5-6.
    • A young Jewish woman in conflict, 2:7
    • Willful compromises, his and hers, 2:8-17.
    • Ends and means, 2:18.
  3. The unseen Hero.
    • God, infinite in wisdom and grace.
    • The King in His beauty.
    • Beauty for ashes.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Esther 2:1-18.
  2. In 2:1-4, the king appears to miss Vashti. What should he do? What's suggested to him? What does he do? How critical is it that we surround ourselves with godly counselors? Along with 2:12-14, consider the counsel they give---and be appalled! Would our culture be appalled?
  3. In 2:5-6, hope dawns. There's a Jewish man in Susa. His entrance into the story changes everything. But why is this unexpected hope? What power does he have against the most powerful man and kingdom in the world? He has a cousin. Her name is Hadassah, er, Esther. Why the double-name, do you think? She's the only one in the story where that's the case? What's the author after?
  4. Continuing the theme of unexpected hope, in what ways does it seem that Mordecai and Esther make spiritual and moral compromises? Do you blame them? What about the examples of Daniel? Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego? Ruth? Joseph at the request of Potiphar's wife? How does the canon help us to size up Mordecai and Esther? In what ways have we compromised on our faith in this culture of ours? And why? How does this part of the story end?
  5. How do these verses direct us to the true Hero of the story? If we are faithless, is God yet faithful? Does He discard us when we hide Him? Is the story about the heroics of Esther or the gracious will and ability of God to ordain the best out of our worst for His greater glory? How does this section drive us to Jesus, of Whom, Isaiah says had 'no beauty that we should desire Him'? How does He reveal Beauty? How does He trade out our ashes for His beauty? What 'ashes' are in 2:1-18? What 'ashes' are in our lives---that Jesus beautifies?
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