Sun, Nov 28, 2021
Duration: 43 mins 59 secs
We've reached the final chapter of Esther. First there is bloodshed as the Jewish people defend themselves from enemies. Then there is merriment as the Jewish people celebrate their deliverance. These final two chapters explain the origin of Purim, a Jewish festival marking the Jews victory over annihilation. Their joyous celebration continues to inspire us to share our God-given joys.
Sun, Nov 21, 2021
Two months have passed since Haman's execution. And yet, Haman's edict to exterminate the Jews remains a threat. Esther again musters her courage, approaches the king, as requests his mercy. She asks the king to write a new edict reversing the first. He grants Mordecai permission to write an edict allowing the Jews to defend themselves. He does and sends it to every province in Persia. This good news makes the Jews joyful. God has preserved his people; they celebrate in kind.
Sun, Nov 14, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 12 secs
Esther's second feast has begun. King Xerxes has run out of patience. Haman is covered in shame. When the king asks Queen Esther for her petition and requests, she offers a brilliant, calibrated response, which exposes her Jewish identity and accuses Haman of attempted genocide. Things go from bad to worse for Haman, when the king catches Haman draped over his wife. Now he has a reason to impale Haman, who ends up dead on the very pole he crafted for Mordecai's execution. Reversals continue in this dramatic book: here it begins when Esther comes out of hiding.
Sun, Nov 07, 2021
Duration: 43 mins 45 secs
King Xerxes cannot sleep. This minor detail begins a turn of events that reverses the fortune of Mordecai, Queen Esther, and the Jewish people. Meanwhile, Haman enters the king's court after spending the night erecting a large stake to crucify Mordecai on. Before can get permission from the king to carry out his plan, Xerxes asks Mordecai what he should do to honor a man he delights in. Haman, a classic narcissist, things the king speaks of him. He does not. He intends to honor Mordecai for an earlier, overlooked act of valor. Haman's narcissism is exposed. His dramatic fall begins. Narcissism never ends well. We all must beware of it, forgetting ourselves, and looking to Jesus.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021
Esther initiates her plan to convince King Xerxes to reverse his plan to execute the Jewish people This is a risky move on her part. She musters her courage, approaches her king, and earns his favor. Xerxes and Haman join Queen Esther for a banquet. Afterwards, Haman heads home, but his buzz quickly ends when Mordecai does not bow to Haman. This negative encounter is the beginning of Haman's unraveling. Negativity has a powerful gravity.
Sun, Oct 24, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 38 secs
Mordecai and Esther communicate through various servants after she learns of his public display of affliction. She cannot persuade him to change clothes and silence his grief. Instead, Mordecai vents his anger about Haman's plot and tries to command Esther to take action. She agrees but on her own terms. She will not be managed. She will seize the moment God has given her. This focuses on God's providence and human responsibility.
Sun, Oct 10, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 59 secs
Although he uncovers an assassination plot against King Xerxes, Mordecai retains his lowly position at the gate. Meanwhile, Haman rises to power and flaunts it. When Mordecai refuses to bow to him, it spells not only the death of Mordecai but of all the Jewish people. Haman consults his magical cube (i.e., pur) and convinces the king to legislate the extermination on the Jews. This message deals with evil in some of its grossest forms. It reminds us that every evil face will someday face God.
Sun, Oct 03, 2021
Duration: 45 mins 45 secs
Exile dramatically shaped Jewish history. It was their low point, rock bottom. In exile, they began to reinterpret the past, pour out their laments, and grasp for hope. Some Jews in exile grew rigid. Others became fragile. Those that comprised the faithful remnant remained flexible: seeking the peace of the foreign city while staying faithful to God's commands. Esther 2:5-20 provides an historical glimpse into this period of exile and how two Jews--Mordecai and Esther--sought to live faithfully, albeit imperfectly, in the age of exile.
Sun, Sep 26, 2021
Duration: 49 mins 36 secs
King Xerxes ruled over a powerful empire. Persia stretched from Turkey to India to Ethiopia. They had not conquered Athens. Thus, Xerxes remained greedy for more. This is common in an age of excess. There is never enough: power, praise, or material wealth. This opening message in the Esther series will set the historical context, the Age of Excess, in which the story unfolds. The parallels between Esther's world and our excessive age are numerous.