Big Idea: God is at work in our bold and fearful obedience to accomplish His larger purposes. We need to look hard for God’s leading as we exercise God-given discernment and wisdom.
- Telling the Story
- The big risk (5:1)
- Esther is accepted and she chooses her ground. (5:2-5)
- Esther stalls. Why? (5:6-7)
- Haman’s pride (5:9-12)
- The power of denied vanity (5:9b, 13)
- Build the gallows for Mordecai! (5:14)
- Timeless truth and living differently
- Follow God’s leading even when it’s not entirely clear.
- There is a time and place to take big risks for God.
- We can exercise wisdom and discernment in picking the time and place for a hard conversation.
- Love of self can never lead to happiness.
- Have you ever made a commitment and then had second thoughts when you realized what it would cost?
Do you like a little bit of time to prepare for big trials, or would you rather “pull the Band-Aid off” quickly? That is, would the three days of praying and fasting help you prepare or just give you more time to worry?
- If you were Esther, what would your reaction have been when the king extended the golden scepter and offered you up to half the kingdom? Would you have made your request right there?
Have you ever stalled for more time, not really having much of a plan?
- Have you ever had to work with someone whose large ego made them hard to work with? Have you found a good way to work with people who are preoccupied with themselves? Do you confront it or walk around the conflict? What is the danger of directly confronting? What are the dangers of walking around them?
- How would you describe God’s leading? When you have had to make big decisions, has it always been obvious what God wanted? If so, how did you know that? Was it an audible voice, or a quiet but clear sense that this was what God wanted? How do you know that it wasn’t just what you wanted to hear and not really what God was saying?
Are subtler forms of communication inherently subjective?
- Does your heritage of faith play into how often you believe one hears from the Lord? Which is more dangerous, to hear a word from the Lord that the Lord never said, or not to hear something God really did say? To which error are you more inclined?
- Why do you think Esther stalled for time? Is this discernment or fear?
- Why did Haman get so angry with Mordecai? Why do you suppose Haman gave Mordecai the power to take away his happiness?
- To whom do you give the power to make you unhappy? Should we empower people to make us unhappy? How many things do you give this kind of power to? Is that number too big, just right, too small?