Teaching Series
Shaped by Environment
Esther 1-4

Series: Shaped by Environment 
Message: Peripheral
Preacher: Jessyka Albert

Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 69:19-21.

Read: Esther 1-4 (NIV). As you read the New International Version, note 1-3 insights.Esther 1-4 (NIV). As you read the New International Version, note 1-3 insights.

Reflect: As you remember, all the king’s servants are bowing down before Haman. Now the tension thickens between enemies—a Jew from the Benjamite tribe and an Agagite whose ancestry formed from the disobedience of God’s orders.
“All the king’s servants bowed down and paid homage to Haman…. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, 'Why are you transgressing the king’s command?' Now it was when they had spoken daily to him and he would not listen to them, that they told Haman to see whether Modecai’s reason would stand; for he had told them that he was a Jew.” (3:2-4)
For the first time, we see Mordecai not being shaped by his peripheral surroundings. It seems safe to say that his lifestyle didn’t scream "Jew," but when placed in a situation where he had to pay homage to someone other than God, Mordecai wouldn’t budge. Not only because of Mordecai’s allegiance, but because of Haman’s deeply rooted peripheral hatred for the Jews, he constructs a plot. Haman plans to destroy all the Jews left in the kingdom.
Haman woos the king into granting him the power to fulfill this wish:
“'If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business, to put into the king’s treasuries.' Then the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. The king said to Haman, 'The silver is yours, and the people also, to do with them as you please.'" (3:9-11)
The law was decreed, and if you remember anything about the law of the Medes and the Persians from the story of Daniel, you know that the law is irreversible. Little does the king know that he has just allowed a decree to pass that will take the life of his queen and all her people. 

Recalibrate: ​ 

  1. Do you have a deeply rooted hatred for a person or a group of people?
  2. What does dwelling on anger do to your soul? To your relationship with God?

Respond: Pray for a gentle heart.

Research: Read the story of Daniel in the lions den in Daniel 6.Read the story of Daniel in the lions den in Daniel 6.

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