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Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide - 3rd Quarter 2015, Aug 4 2015

Tuesday August, 4

“For Such a Time As this” (Esther 2:19-5:8)

In Esther 3:1-5, the plot of the story starts to unfold. Mordecai, a Jew-following the commandment against idolatry-refused to bow down to Haman, a mere man. Furious, Haman sought a way to avenge himself for what he took as a slight. Mordecai, by his actions, in a way was witnessing among these pagans about the true God.

What excuse did Hamman use to try to rid the empire of the Jews? What does this tell us about how easy it is to let cultural differences blind us to the humanity of all people? Esther 3:8-13; see also Acts 17: 26.

As Haman’s plot was made known, Mordecai expressed his grief visibly, using the only Jewish religious ritual to be mentioned in the book of Esther: “He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes…wailing loudly and bitterly” (Esther 4:1, NIV). In the meantime, Esther prepared to live up to Haman’s accusation. She would become a Jewish breaker of royal Persian laws by heroically entering the king’s presence without invitation, as part of a plan to foil Haman’s plot. The king admitted her and accepted her invitation do dine. Esther now takes the lead in the drama faced by the Jewish exiles across all of Persia. In this story, Esther shoed self-denial and heroism (Esther 4:16), tact (Esther 5:8), and courage (Esther 7:6).

“Through Ester the queen [,] the Lord accomplished a mighty deliverance for His people. At a time when it seemed that no power could save them, Esther and the women associated with her, by fasting and prayer and prompt action, met the issue, and brought salvation to their people.
“A study of women’s work in connection with the cause of God in Old Testament times will teach us lessons that will enable us to meet emergencies in the work today. We may not be brought into such a critical and prominent place as were the people of God in the time of Esther; but often converted women can act an important part in more humble position.” – Ellen G. White Comments, in the SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1140.

Read Esther 4:14, Mordecai’s famous words to Esther: “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (NKJV). In what ways might the principle behind these words apply to you, right now?

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