Sunday, February 2, 2020
The Babylonian captivity ended when Cyrus, the king of Persia, took over Babylon and let God’s people go home. Some of God’s people—now called Jews (people from Judah)—traveled back to Judah to rebuild the temple, the city, and their lives. Others, however, stayed in Persia where life among the pagans was relatively comfortable.
The king of Persia was now Ahasuerus (uh haz yoo EHR uhs), also known by his Greek name, Xerxes (ZUHRK seez). Esther was a young Jewish girl who became queen of Persia. The former queen had defied the king and was promptly replaced.
Esther had been an orphan, so her cousin Mordecai adopted her. Mordecai kept in touch with Esther while she lived in the palace. One day, the king gave Haman the Agagite a very important position in the kingdom. The king even commanded the people to bow down to Haman. But Mordecai refused.
Haman was a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites. The nations of Israel and Amalek did not get along. Haman was angry, but instead of just punishing Mordecai, he planned to kill all the Jews in the kingdom.
In this week’s Bible story, Mordecai turned to Esther for help. After all, she was in a position of power, and the Jews were her people. The stakes were high, but Esther approached the king and explained her people’s plight. Review the details in Esther 7.
Note how Esther described Haman: “The adversary and enemy is this evil Haman” (Esth. 7:6). We too have an adversary—the Devil. He prowls around like a lion, seeking people to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8) He loves nothing more than to destroy believers and hinder the work of God. Satan thought he had succeeded when Jesus died on the cross, but God—working frequently behind the scenes—raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. (See Heb. 2:14-15.)
God was in control over Haman’s evil plan to destroy the Jews. Like Haman, Satan wants to ruin God’s plan and destroy believers. Satan thought he had won when Jesus died on the cross, but God raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. All who believe in Jesus are rescued from sin and death.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- ● Babies and Toddlers
- ○ Nothing can stop God’s good plan.
- ○ Jesus died and rose again to do God’s plan.
- ○ God made Esther queen of Persia.
- ○ God used Esther to rescue His people.
- ○ Jesus rescues us from sin and death.
- ● Preschool
- ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
- ○ God used Esther to rescue God’s people from their enemies.
- ● Kids
- ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth.
- ○ God made Esther a queen to protect His people.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- ● 1 Peter 5:10
- ● “The Walls Rebuilt” (Nehemiah 1–6)