Esther (Chapter 2)
OPENING QUESTION: Have you ever been in another culture (setting) where you found it hard to connect?
- Imagine being forced, like the Jews in this story, to suddenly leave all you have and move to a strange land. If the only people you could take were family, who besides your mom or dad would you like to bring with you that would look out for you?
- In verse 7, it’s noted that Esther was beautiful and had a lovely figure. This isn’t the only Bible story where a person’s looks became a factor in the story’s outcome. Can you think of how beauty impacted other Bible stories? Can the beauty of a woman or looks of a man be used today to impact the kingdom?
- As Esther is taken into the palace she finds herself amongst many other women, perhaps not all there willingly. Yet Esther seems to find favor in the midst of this trial. How does this remind us of Joseph’s story?
- Biblical principles aren’t just rules to keep us from fun, they are given to produce abundant life. If ever taken into captivity, what core principles might both help you get through it and help you find favor amongst those holding you? (Even Peter and Paul found favor from the prison guards.)
- What is a circumstance you are going through right now that an attitude change or the principles above might come in handy for?
- In verse 10, Esther has a secret. It doesn’t say she has “lied,” but she’s not sharing the whole truth! What things might you not share or wait to share today, and why?
- Everyday Mordecai is there listening for an update. As a person of faith I imagine he was praying as he received updates. Who in your life is faithfully checking in on you? Who are you checking on? Is prayer at all involved?
- If you don’t have someone, what’s keeping you from finding such a person? Is it not wanted, not easy to find, not needed?
- This week, perhaps we could pick a person to keep track of. Perhaps in prayer time we could share with one person the needs of the week and ask them to walk with us through it?
- So far the story of Esther hasn’t mentioned God or any intervention from Him. Look back now and see if you can find His hand in the story and share how.
- Mordecai still remains a mentor in Esther’s life and while doing so overhears a threat to the kingdom. Have you ever come across bad intentions of others and gotten involved in uncovering it?
If you have time/food for thought:
1. Considering that everything in the harem probably belonged to the king, what would be the significance of being able to bring “anything Esther wanted” to the king? What would you take to a king who has everything? (vs. 13)
2. Ladies: Are there any Biblical principles and/or warnings about beauty? How do we balance this?
UNDERSTANDING THE CHARACTERS:
- Hegai was the king’s eunuch. Explain the significance of a eunuch’s position to the king and now to Esther.
- Jews from the tribe of Benjamin are mentioned in verse 5. Who can explain the significance of “tribes,” and who Benjamin was?
- How did the exile of the Jews to Susa most likely have an impact on Mordecai’s request to keep Esther from using her real name of Hadassah?