We studied the story of Ruth together in class last week. The story of Esther is similar in that:
Neither mention God (much or at all).
They are strong women for whom a book in Scripture is written. That is a big deal!
But they are very different, too. Ruth is the story of an outsider and widow—someone with little to no power—who changes history by becoming an ancestor to Jesus. Esther works from her position of power within the King’s court. She, too, is an outsider—a Jew in Persia.
The book of Esther is a story of political plots, royal intrigue, sex, murder, bribery, and family. The main characters are:
Esther—a young Jewish woman who caught the eye of the King for her beauty.
Mordecai—Esther’s cousin. He hangs out at the palace gates a lot in order to share information with Esther and guide her in her decisions.
King Ahasuerus—the king is a fool and easily swayed by the words of others.
Haman—the king’s advisor. He has it in for Mordecai and tries to trap him in a plan that backfires in epic proportions.
Work together as a family/household as you participate in the activities and readings.
Read: Read Esther 4:13-17
Mordecai has warned Esther that the king has made a decree that all the Jews should be killed on a certain date. He asks Esther to speak with the king and change his mind. At first, she doesn’t want to. She’s afraid. But Mordecai reminds her that if she doesn’t help her people with the position she has, God will raise up other voices, and her position (and likely her life) will be lost, anyway.
What is Esther’s response and what did she risk by speaking up?
Have you ever felt compelled to speak up about something you knew to be right or wrong? Did you do it? What was at risk for you by saying something?
Watch: Summary of Esther: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JydNSlufRIs
Discuss: Learn more about the Jewish festival of Purim at https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/purim Go down the rabbit hole and click on the various buttons at the bottom—videos, treats, and the story. Make one of the treats and (maybe) even read the book of Esther together one night! That’s extra credit.