Small Group Questions
Esther Pt. 3
Read Esther 3:1-15; 1 Samuel 15:7-20; Matthew 5:27-29; John 10:10; John 15:18-19; Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11
Pastor Trev continued the study of the book of Esther by presenting a challenge from chapter three, “Standing When Others are Bending Their Knee.”
1. Pastor Trev began by saying, “We can play it safe or we can play it right.” How does playing it right differ from playing it safe? Share a time when you played it right, rather than safe. What did it cost you?
2. Read Esther 3:1-15. These verses tell the story of Haman (boo!!) and Mordecai (yea!!). According to verses 8-10 we learn that Haman not only hated Mordecai, but all Jews. Getting the king to agree, Haman is given permission to destroy all of the Jews in the kingdom. Do you think it is right to take a moral stand (like Mordecai refusing to bow to Haman), even if others are affected by your actions? Why or why not?
3. Read 1 Samuel 15:7-20. These verses give some background that help us to understand why there was such a strong hatred for the Jews by Haman (an Agagite). Mortdecai was a descendent of King Saul. Think of the present day, and places in the world where there is continual fighting. Why do you think these disputes go on for many generations? Do you think peace is possible in these areas? What would it take to gain lasting peace?
4. Pastor Trev said, “We have many opportunities to take a knee (compromise) or to take a stand. We take a stand whenever we resist sin.” Read Matthew 5:27-29. Obviously, Jesus is not asking us to literally cut off parts of our body when we sin. What do you think He is asking us to do? Where do we get the power to overcome sin? (hint: Romans 6:11-13)
5. When we take a stand for God, we may face ridicule, lies about us, and possibly much worse. According to John 10:10 where does the hatred for righteousness (standing uprightly) originate? Read John 15:18-19. How does this encourage you to stand when it would be much easier to give in?
6. Pastor Trev concluded by saying, “There are more chapters, and things get better.” He was reminding us that the book of Esther doesn’t end with chapter three, but has seven more chapters leading to a positive conclusion. According to Isaiah 45:23 and Romans 14:11, at the end of human history, who will bend their knee? Knowing this, does this encourage you to stand strong today? How so?
Challenge: Read Esther chapter 4 this week in preparation for next Sunday’s message.