Journey Through The Scriptures
The Life of Esther
Lesson 7: A New Feast Is Celebrated
(Scripture to Read: Esther 9:20–10:3)
The great victory that Esther and Mordecai led in Persia so many centuries ago is still celebrated each year by Jews in the feast of Purim, named after the lot (Hebrew, pur) that Haman threw to decide the day for the Jews' destruction. The biblical writer described it beautifully as a time when "their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration."
Instead of losing their families and their lives, the Jews of Persia gathered in families to celebrate God's deliverance. And instead of losing all their property, they gave gifts to one another. It is not surprising that Esther and Mordecai felt so strongly about the importance of observing the Feast of Purim that they made it into a decree and sent it throughout the empire with the king's full authority behind it. Mordecai became such an important figure in Persia that his story was recorded in the annals of King Ahasuerus.
- Mordecai decreed that the Jews would celebrate Purim each year without fail. Why is it so important to remember and celebrate special times of God's blessing?
- God is clearly the One who caused Haman's evil plan to "come back onto his own head." What does the Bible say about those who "pursue evil" (Proverbs 11:19)?
- According to Proverbs 16:33, whose hand controlled the lot Haman threw to decide the date of his plan? Do you recall how long this date gave the Jews to prepare for their defense(see Esther 3)?
- Mordecai was highly honored "because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews." How can we do this today as we seek to bless Israel?
Something to Think About
The book of Esther was written to encourage Jews who had returned to the land of Israel from foreign captivity and also faced many obstacles and many enemies.
Imagine the encouragement, comfort, and strength they must have received from reading this thrilling story of God's watchful care over His people. Imagine the comfort you can receive from knowing that God is still watching over you and all of His people today!