VERSES: Esther 3:1-4:17
MEMORY VERSE: Esther 5:16 "...and if I perish, I perish."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review the first four books of the New Testament.
PRAYER: Pray for courage and determination.
SPECIAL SONG: The B-I-B-L-E (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: A large Activity (see below)
- There was a man named Haman who King Ahasuerus had promoted and given a job over all the other officers. He was so important that all of the other officers of the king bowed down to Haman and paid respect to him. All, but one man and that man's name was Mordecai. Mordecai was Queen Esther's uncle, but more importantly, Mordecai was a Jew who obeyed and the served the LORD God. Mordecai did not bow down to Haman because this was a type of 'bow' that not only meant respect, but it also meant that you were worshiping that person. Mordecai knew that he would only bow down to God and not to a man.
- All of the other king's servants asked Mordecai why he transgressed or went against the king's commandment. Every day, the king's servants would ask Mordecai, but he did not listen to them. Finally, the king's servants went and told Haman. By this time, everyone knew that Modecai was a Jew and that Jews only bowed down to God.
- Haman started noticing that it was true: Mordecai never bowed down to him or paid any respect to him and Haman did not like it one bit! In fact, it made Haman very angry! Haman planned to get revenge on Morecai by destroying all of the Jews throughout the whole Persian kingdom, and especially Mordecai.
- Haman decided to tell the king that there was a group of people who were scattered throughout his kingdom who did not keep the king's laws because they had their own laws. Mordecai convinced the king that it was not in his best interest to be patient with this group of people called the Jews. Haman went on to say that he would give the officers money to carry out a law that would be written, saying that those people should be destroyed.The king then gave Haman his ring to seal the letter. In those days, if the king gave you his ring, then he trusted you and was giving you permission to do what you thought was best and whatever you did, you could seal it with the seal of the king's ring, then the law would be permanent. Haman wrote the law destroying the Jews and put the seal of king Asahuerus' ring and it was law! Letters were sent out by messengers throughout the kingdom that said to kill and destroy the Jews on one special day and the people were to be ready on that day to fulfill the law.
- When Modecai found out about the law, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth and ashes on, and cried with a loud and bitter cry in the middle of the city. He was very upset. All over the kingdom, all of the Jews were upset and afraid; they all fasted and prayed and cried. When Queen Esther's servants told her what Mordecai was doing, she quickly sent him more clothes, but he refused them She gave her chief servant instructions to go and see why Modecai was so upset. Mordecai told the servant everything and gave him a copy of the letter. He told the servant to show the letter to Esther and tell her to go and ask for kindness from the king concerning her people. Queen Esther sent the servant back to Mordecai with a message that said anyone who went into the king's court uninvited then there was a law to put that person to death unless the king held out his golden staff to them. When Mordecai heard Esther's words, he replied for her not to think of herself, but think of her people and to not think that she would escape alive because she, too, was a Jew. He said that perhaps this was the reason why she was chosen queen...to save her people.
- Esther, again, sent word to Mordecai to tell everyone to fast for three days, and then she would go into the king's court and plead for her people. Queen Esther said, "If I perish, I perish!"
- The law that a Persian king created and sealed with his ring was one that even the king could not change. Ever.
- One of Haman's important jobs was to do something called 'casting Pur', meaning that it was a random way of choosing answers. People would come before Haman every day, ask questions and he would cast Pur and receive an answer. There is not a lot said about this in the Bible, but it will become important towards the end of Esther's story (Esther 3:7; 9:22).
Materials needed: 9" x 12" tan construction paper, five 1/2" x 6" strips of poster board, scissors, tape, crayons, marker.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Student draws Mordecai, King Ahazuerus, Queen Esther, Haman, and a servant.
- Color the people.
- Hand out poster board strips.
- Fold each strip in half.
- Fold strips in half again.
- Unfold and fold back one section to make a triangle.
- Secure each triangle with tape.
- Attach one triangle on the back of each character.
- If character will not stand up, character is too tall for poster board.
- Tweak until all characters stand up.
- Student rehearses the story.