Imagine what it would be like to be king or queen. How would you complete the following statements?
“If I were king or queen I would…”
1. Only eat __________ every day.
2. Travel to ____________.
3. Pass a law that____________________________.
4. Buy ____________ (number) pairs of shoes.
5. ______________ with my leftover food.
6. Help others by _______________.
7. Hire ______________ (name) as my court jester.
- Sometimes, we do not understand why things happen in our lives. We do not understand why we must suffer what seems to be misfortune. When our lives are going along smoothly, we do not understand why God allows sudden change to upset our peaceful existence. We are prone to question God for allowing disrupting circumstances. Yet, God has both a reason and a plan. He sees the whole picture.
- Esther was a young Jewish girl who lived in Babylon. Her people had been carried away from their homeland of Judah to be slaves in Babylon.
- Both of her parents had died, and her older cousin adopted and raised her. Esther must have had a very difficult childhood; yet, God had a plan for Esther’s
life. There would be a time when her people would be in great danger. God would place Esther in the exact place where He wanted her to be in order to protect His
people. God can do amazing things in difficult circumstances through those who will yield to His plan. God is in control even when we do not understand His plan.
- In chapter one of Esther, the king gave a big party. He wanted his wife, the queen, to come so he could show off her beauty to everyone. She refused to come. This made the king very angry. The king met with his advisors and decided that Vashti would no longer be queen; a new queen would be chosen to replace her.
- After the party was over, the king was not angry anymore. He actually became sad about banishing the queen; but by law, he could not go back on his word. He never saw the queen again.
- If we do something out of anger, we may come to regret it later. Do not, as did the king, speak or act at a time you are angry; take time to think through what you say or do. Though we do not issue a decree that cannot be changed, we cannot really take back the words we speak carelessly. We may ask for forgiveness; but, the hurt and damage we have caused to another person may remain.
- In James 1:19, we are advised, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Weigh carefully your words before you speak them, and harness your anger.
- God knew this would happen and would use this event to usher in His plan. God can do all things; He can even move the hearts of kings in order for His plans to be accomplished—even though the king does not fear or serve the Lord. God was already working, behind the scenes, to provide a way of deliverance for His people. God is in control even when we do not understand His plan.
- The king’s aides made the suggestion that all the beautiful, young girls be brought to the king’s harem. The girls were to have beauty treatments to make them ready for the king. The girl who pleased the king the most would be made queen, replacing Vashti. The king liked this suggestion.
- Jerusalem had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, and King Jeconiah and the people of Judah had been carried away as captives to Babylon. One of the Jewish captives was Kish, the great grandfather, of Mordecai—a Jew who resided at the palace.
- Now, Mordecai had a beautiful and lovely young cousin named Esther. Esther’s parents had died, so Mordecai adopted Esther into his own family and raised her as his own daughter. Mordecai loved Esther and took good care of her though it must have been difficult to grow up without her parents.
- As a result of the king’s decree, Esther was taken from her home with Mordecai and brought to the king’s harem at Shushan Palace, along with many other young girls. She was entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. Hegai was impressed with Esther, so he gave her special treatment. He gave her special food, beauty treatments and seven maids from the palace. He also gave her the best place in the harem.
- Already God had given Esther favor in the king’s palace. Hegai recognized that Esther might very well be the king’s choice for a new queen, so he helped to prepare her for that day when she would stand before the king. What a different life it must have been for Esther! All of a sudden she is pampered and given beauty treatments and given servants to attend to her every need. What must
have gone through Esther’s mind as she was preparing to go before the king? Do you think she may have missed her home, even with all that attention? Do you think she was ever afraid?
- Sometimes, we might be afraid when things take a new direction. God may have plans for us that we cannot understand. Like Esther, we must trust Him and know that He is going to work everything out for His good plan and purpose. God is in control even when we do not understand His plan.
- Mordecai had told Esther not to tell anyone that she was a Jew. Since the Jews were still in captivity and were looked down upon, he may have been concerned that she would not be well cared for; so, Esther obeyed and did not tell anyone. Mordecai was concerned for Esther and checked on her everyday.
- Esther spent a whole year just getting ready to go before the king! Before a young girl was taken to the king, she was to have 12 months of beauty treatments; six months with oil of myrrh to make her skin soft, and 6 months with perfumes and cosmetics to make her attractive.
- When it was Esther’s turn, she could choose whatever clothes and jewelry she desired. When she returned, she would go to another part of the harem where the king’s wives lived. She would live there the rest of her life and would not return to the king again unless he asked for her by name.
- The time had finally come to go before the king. When Esther’s turn came, she followed the advice of the eunuch in charge of the harem and dressed simply. She was taken to the king at the palace in January of the seventh year of the king’s reign.(Esther 2:15-16)
- God gave Esther favor. The king loved Esther more than all of the other women. He was delighted with her and set the royal crown on her head. Esther was declared queen. The king had a celebration for all his officials and servants, proclaiming a holiday in the provinces and giving gifts.(Esther 2:17-18)
- When God had a plan for Esther. God has plans and purposes for our lives, too. Even in the midst of confusing circumstances—when we cannot seem to
make sense of what is happening, God is in control; and all things are working together for His good purpose. Let us trust He knows what is best! God is in control even when we do not understand His plan.
- When God calls us to do something for Him, He will give us favor. He will open doors and close doors according to His purpose and enable us to do whatever He has called us to do. Esther trusted in God, though she did not know
or understand His plan. She will find she is in the right place at the right time; for, in upcoming lessons, we will see that God will use her position as Queen to rescue the Jewish people from great danger.
Lead the children in a prayer of commitment to trust in the Lord no matter what the circumstances–even if they do not understand everything that God is doing in their lives. If there are any children who have not yet responded to the Gospel, give them opportunity.