This service will include Communion
The book of Esther is set in the court of the Persian king Xerxes in the 5th century B.C. God’s people have been taken into captivity and Jerusalem destroyed. They are not having a comfortable experience, and like many Christians in the Middle East today, are undergoing persecution for their beliefs.
1) God disciplines His people. The Jews were in Persia because they had turned away from God. They had ignored His warnings and continued in their sins and worship of false gods so God had punished them. Today we too sometimes have to endure discipline at
the hand of God (Hebrews 12:5-11)
2) God still loves his people. He will never abandon those who follow Him, but will protect those who put their trust in Him. (Matthew 28:20)
3) God has raised up a Saviour for His people. In our story God had raised up a Jewish girl to become queen of Persia who was able to speak to the king on behalf of her people. We too have a Saviour in the Lord Jesus Christ who was raised up on the cross to save us, and is now an advocate on our behalf before God’s throne in heaven. (Hebrews 4:14-16, 1 John 2:1)
4) God has a plan for each of our lives. Esther had no idea what the plan was for her and was at times terrified, but she had the faith to trust and to obey God. The situation was all part of God’s plan, both for Esther and for her people. (Jeremiah 29:10-14)
5) God can order seemingly random circumstances to accomplish His purposes. He can use evil men and ungodly rulers as well as His servants. God’s plans may not seem immediately obvious at the time, but looking back we can see His hand at work.
6) The book of Esther is an encouragement to those who are undergoing difficulty. It illustrates the principal that “all things work together for good to those who love God who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Theme: “God’s people under threat”
Reading: Esther 3 vs. 1-10
Preacher: Alan Cole
Led by: Richard Sills