Let A Search Be Made
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this study, please read
the Book of Esther and the Women in Christ commentary "Hadassah
Also Known As Esther."
Part I. Estherís Example
1. Esther chapter one. What happened to Queen Vashti and why? [Refer to the February, 2004, issue of Women in Christ if desired.]
2. Esther 2:1-4 What arrangements were made to select a new queen? What were the requirements?
3. Esther 2:5-8 Describe Estherís circumstances. How do you think this young girl, about 12 to 15 years old, would feel about being taken from her home?
4. Esther 2:9-11 What do you learn about Estherís character based on these verses? What frame of mind regarding Estherís welfare does Mordecaiís behavior suggest to you?
5. Esther 2:12-18 What other character traits of Esther do you think are suggested by these verses? What set Esther apart from the other beautiful women?
6. Esther 2:19-23; 6:1-10 What circumstances work for the protection of Esther and Mordecai? Do you think this is mere coincidence or divine intervention? Explain why you think so?
7. Esther 3:1-15 What crisis is at the center of the book of Esther? How did it come about and why? Why do you think there have been so many attempts to annihilate the Jewish people through the centuries?
8. Esther 4:1-8 How did Mordecai and the Jewish people react to the kingís edict? Do you think they had a purpose in their reaction?
9. Esther 4:9-17 What danger did Esther face if she did as Mordecai requested? How did Mordecai encourage her to act on behalf of her people? How did they support Esther through this crisis?
10. Esther 5-7 What part did Estherís character and conduct play in saving her people? Would that have been enough apart from the intervention of God?
11. Esther 8-10 What was the kingís solution to undo his previous edict? Why couldnít he just repeal it? (Esther 1:19; Daniel 6:8, 12)
12. Esther 4:16; 9:29; 2:10, 15, 20 What
effect did the risk Esther took have on her character and her position
in court? Do you have an example of a risk that you took that developed
your character? Did you benefit from this risk in other ways? Has there
been a risk you avoided that you regret? Why? Do you know of a need that
you are uniquely fitted to tackle which requires risk on your part?
Part II. Subjection and Deliverance
1. Jeremiah 25:1-14 Why did God allow the people of Judah to be conquered and made captives of the Babylonian Empire and the empires that followed? Is there a personal lesson or application for you in this passage?
2. Jeremiah 25:29-32; 26:1-6, 12-13 Why should people of other nations besides Israel listen to the words of the prophet Jeremiah? Why should you?
3. Jeremiah 27:7-11, 17, 22; 29:4-14 What instructions did God give the exiles? What promise did he make? Do you see any similarity between these instructions and those given to Christians? (See: Romans 13:1-8) If so, what?
4. Ezekiel 34:11-16 For whom is God searching? Why?
5. John 10: 11-18 How is God keeping the promise he made through the prophet Ezekiel? (See also: Romans 10:16-21; 11:1-15, 25-32)
6. Acts 8:1-8 What differences or similarities do you see between the exile of Judah and the scattering of Christians? What is accomplished when the people of God are dispersed throughout the world?
7. I Peter 1:1-2; 2:11-25 In what ways is a Christian life similar to the lives of Esther and her fellow exiles? In your opinion, did Esther illustrate how to follow Peterís instruction? Give examples from the book of Esther.
8. John 15:12-13 How did Esther illustrate obedience to this command from Jesus? Give an example of someone who has risked himself, or her welfare, to benefit you or show Jesus-like love for you?
Part III. With Full Authority
1. Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 10:1-20; 24:45-49 How has Jesus shared his authority with his disciples? What are the responsibilities that accompany that authority?
2. I Corinthians 12:1-31 What are the different ways Christians exercise the authority Christ gave to them?
3. Matthew 25:24-30; Esther 4:13-14; Matthew 25:31-46 Do you think your salvation is in any way connected to your active concern for the rescue and relief of the suffering of other people? Explain why you think so.
4. James 4:6-7; Ephesians 5:21; Matthew 20:25; Matthew 25:23; Revelation 20:4-6 How would humility and submission to God and people prepare you to exercise authority Godís way?
5. Matthew 11:29; John 13:1-17 What description does Jesus give of his own character? Would this describe Estherís character? Are these character traits gender-specific? Why or why not?
6. I Peter 3:1-6 How can you be as beautiful
to God as Esther was to the people who knew her? Do you think ďpurity and
reverenceĒ and ďa gentle and quiet spiritĒ before God is solely a trait
of a Christian woman? Can and should Christian men be pure, reverent, gentle,
quiet, humble and submissive and still be ďmanly?Ē How are these traits
possible in a variety of personalities, such as introvert or extrovert;
assertive or compliant and so on? Would you like people in authority over
you--on your job or in civil authority-- to have these characteristics?
Why or Why not?