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Pi Week February 18 OW COURAGE ‘TRIUMPHS Background Passage: Esther 10 Lesson Passages: Esther 5:1-3; 7:1-6,9-10 BIBLICAL TRUTH Believers are to act courageously to defend others. KEY BIBLE VERSE Esther 7:3 PRONUNCIATION AID Ahasuerus [uh haz yoo EHR uhs] Esther [ESS tuhr] Haman [HAY muhn] Harbona [hahr BOH nuh] Mordecai [MAWR duh kigh] Glen I was a child I liked television shows and movies about heroes and heroines who fought injustice and rescued people from bad situations. These heroic people would often risk their lives or their health in order to keep someone else from being wronged. I enjoyed the adventures, but even more important was the fact that good triumphed over evil. Unfortunately, I never thought of myself as needing to take any risks to help other people. My favorite shows transported me to other times and places, but I did not seek to emulate the courageous actions of those fictional characters. If we saw someone in trouble today, how would we respond? We might ignore the situation. We may have learned conventional wisdom such as “Don’t get involved” or “Play it safe.” We might feel sympathy for the misfor- tunes of others but be reluctant to take any action. At times the news media will relate a story of violence occurring to one defenseless person or group when bystanders see the injustice, but take no action to help. Our study of Esther’s courageous action in this week’s lesson should encourage us to act to help other people. We may not be in a situation where How Courage Triumphs ————- STUDY, QI 1. What does “even to half the kingdom” mean? (5:3) 2. What did Esther ask Ahasuerus to do? (7:3) 3. How was Haman punished? (7:9-10) we need to risk our lives, but we should avoid being silent when we could defend others verbally. BACKGROUND PASSAGE OVERVIEW With Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther risked her life by going to the king uninvited. When the king saw her, he wel- comed her. Rather than immediately describing the plight of her people, Esther asked the king and Haman to come to a banquet. At that banquet she still did not explain her concern about her people; she invited her husband and Haman to come to another banquet. Haman left the first banquet in an upbeat mood. Haman had been angered when Mordecai did not bow before him. Although Haman was pleased with his wealth and being in the king’s favor, he was still upset about Mordecai. His wife and friends suggested that he should have a gallows built for hanging Mordecai. When the king could not sleep, a report of Mordecai’s hav- ing saved his life was read aloud to him. He learned that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his heroism. The king asked Haman what he should do to honor a man, and Haman described the gifts he would like to have from the king. Obvi- ously, Haman did not realize these gifts would go to Mordecai until the king named the intended recipient. Haman’s wife realized that Haman was doomed. The king and Haman attended Esther’s banquet. Here Es- ther pleaded for her life and the lives of her people. When the king asked who had plotted their destruction, Esther identi- fied Haman as the enemy. The angry king walked out of the banquet, and Haman fell before Esther, begging her for his life. When the king returned to the banquet, he thought Haman was attacking Esther. One of the eunuchs implied that Haman should be hanged on the gallows Haman had prepared for Mordecai. Week of February 18 ERM 1 On the third day, Esther dressed up in her royal clothing and stood in the inner court- yard of the palace facing it. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal courtroom, facing its entrance. 2 As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, she won his approval. The king ex- tended the golden scepter in his hand toward Esther, and she approached and touched the tip of the scepter. 3 “What is it, Queen Esther?” the king asked her. “Whatever you want, even to half the kingdom, will be given to you.” STEP Our ON FatTH (EsTH. 5:1-5) Holman CSB Loy 1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. 2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. 3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. Verse 1. Esther fasted for three days (4:16) and reminded Mordecai that someone who approached the king uninvited risked the death penalty (4:11). Despite the danger, Esther dressed up in her royal clothing and stood in a courtyard Zéfen have where the king could see her. you demon- Verse 2. When the king saw Queen Esther, he welcomed strated the her into his presence. The signal that the king was willing to kind of cour- see someone was his extending his golden scepter to the vis- age Esther itor (4:11); he did this for Esther. displayed in Verse 3. The king asked her what she wanted. Since he had not summoned her for about a month (4:11), there could have been several things she wanted to say. He promised that he would grant her request up to half the kingdom. Bible scholars suggest that this phrase was a formality, not a literal offer of half his realm. (See Study Question 1.) The phrase does, however, indicate the king’s approval of his wife. approaching the king? (5:1) QW How Courage Triumphs