On Sunday, October 20, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Providence (Esther) – Two Queens” from Esther 1:3-2:23. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.
1. It was stated by Bruce that the Book of Esther is frequently overlooked. Why do you think that is? Explain.
2. What’s the biggest banquet you ever attended? Elaborate
3. From your perspective, what were some of Ahasuerus’ motivations for these banquets?
4. What mistakes did Ahasuerus make in this banquet disaster? Could or should have Vashti responded differently? If so, how?
5. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel and his captivity friends Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-nego)—at the risk of their lives—took strong stands against demands placed upon them by their captors (see Dan 1, 3, 6). Should have Mordecai and Esther also taken a strong stand against the King’s beauty contest (which also included participation in a night of unmarried sex with the King)? If so, why do you think they didn’t?
6. On the other hand, as did Daniel and his friends, Esther and Mordecai found favor with their captors. What was the common element that they each displayed?
7. Bruce stated that embracing God’s providence has three benefits:
– it eliminates certain notions (list some)
– it neutralizes certain negative reactions to life (list some)
– it breeds certain positive responses to life (list some)
8. Pray for God’s favor in your life at school, at work, at home.