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Sermons

Divine Providence Working Through Ordinary Events (Pt.2)

April 7, 2019 Speaker: John Bell Series: Esther

Passage: Esther 3:1–5:14

Big Picture: The book of Esther presents an episode in the history of God’s Old Covenant people that threatened their annihilation by the pagan powers of ancient Persia, and God’s deliverance. Here we see that God fulfills his redemptive promises not only through great miracles (such as the exodus from Egypt), but also through divine providence working through ordinary events. Even the actions of people who do not worship him are woven into patterns and purposes determined by the sovereign Lord alone.

  1. Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews (3:1–15)

The crisis coming upon the Jewish people is defined in this chapter. Because Persia ruled such a vast area, including Judah and Jerusalem, this plot threatened to annihilate all of God’s covenant people

  1. Mordecai persuades Esther to help (4:1–17)

This chapter presents the defining moment in Esther’s life that makes her a good example of faithfulness to God that can be imitated by both men and women. Despite the danger to herself and her previous attempts to conceal her identity, Esther decides to identify herself with God’s covenant people. This defining moment develops her identity in the story from a young Jewish girl to the powerful queen of Persia. Only after she identifies herself with God’s people does she fully embrace the purpose for which God has positioned her. From this point onward, she no longer takes orders from Mordecai, but he follows her instructions (v. 17).

  1. Esther’s Request to the King (5:1–14)

It is no doubt because of this scene that the book comes to be called “Esther” and not “Mordecai.” Robed in her royal garments, the queen of Persia courageously goes before the king uninvited with the clever strategy of inviting the king and Haman to a banquet the next day. The suspense rises, but Haman’s defenses are lowered.

 

“Bloom Where You Are Planted” 

1 Cor. 7:17-24

Main principle:  each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.  Being a Christian means bringing what one is into the service of God.

Application:

  • Status of any kind is ultimately irrelevant with God, and so must it be with his children.
  • When you ask yourself the question, "What is God's will for my life?” your answer must be a resounding: "His will is that I maintain close fellowship with him and devote myself to obeying his commandments."
  • Your life – yoursituation – is God’s assignment to you, Christian. Bring him glory!

Preachers note: This series is greatly indebted to Karen H. Jobes’ Esther commentary; Five Festal Garments, by Barry G. Webb; and From Typology to Doxology, by Andrew D. Naselli.