The Great Reversal
I. An ANCIENT story of REVERSAL. (Esther 8-10)
A. The OUTCASTS are EXALTED. (8:1-14)
B. The EVIL are brought to JUSTICE. (9:1-17)
C. JUSTICE has a RIPPLE effect. (8:15-17)
D. But HONEST readers feel a bit UNCOMFORTABLE. (9:11-17)
We followed the story of Esther for the past 3 weeks. It’s been an up and down ride and we finally see that Esther and her people are saved. Justice has been done. Whew, what a relief. But when we sit with the last few chapters of the book long enough we can begin to feel a little uncomfortable.
1. Kid’s Question: What is your favourite part of the story of Esther and why?
2. In what ways have you seen justice and right action have a ripple effect around you?
II. How the BIBLE actually WORKS. (Heb. 4:12)
A. How STORIES (75%) wield AUTHORITY. (Mt. 13:34)
1. Growing in RELATIONSHIP not REGULATION. (Rom. 15:4; Jn 5:39-40)
2. Developing WISDOM not maintaining RULES. (Prov. 26:4-5)
B. The example of a “REDEMPTIVE HERMENEUTIC”. (Ex. 21:20-21; Dt.
15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-46; Titus 2:9; Eph. 6:5-9; Philemon 1:12-16; Gal. 3:28)
C. God GAVE us the BIBLE as it is (and WAS). (II Tim. 3:16-17)
Esther chapter 9 can challenge us in many ways. How do we take these narrative texts from 2500 years ago and apply them to today. How does the queen ordering the dead corpses of Haman’s sons to be impaled actually work in our own day to day lives? This calls for a little thinking about the Bible and the way we use it.
3. Do you struggle with how the Bible is written? What things make it difficult for you to believe it is the word of God? Applicable for today?
4. Read Prov. 26:4-5 again. Does the idea of seeing this as a means to develop wisdom instead of a list of rules help you make sense of this?
5. What did Jeff mean by a “redemptive hermeneutic” in your own words? Does that make sense? Are there problems to this approach in other areas?
6. “God gave us the Bible He knew we needed.” How does that statement impact the way you look at what some people would call “problem texts”?
III. The WISDOM of the book of ESTHER. (James 1:5; Est. 4:14,16)
A. God is ALWAYS at WORK. (Jn 5:17; Rom. 8:28)
B. Our ROLE is far from PASSIVE. (Phil. 2:12-13)
C. Resist the IDOL of CERTAINTY. (2 Cor. 5:7)
D. Embrace the RELATIONSHIP of FAITH. (Prov. 3:5)
So if the goal is learning to live in and apply the wisdom that God brings to us through the teachings of the Scripture, what can we see in the story of Esther that connects to where we live today?
7. What action is God calling you to take at this point in your life? Why do you think that?
8. Is your spiritual life more interested in certainty or faith? How can you tell?