Esther Week 1 Sermon Notes

ESTHER PART 1: A VIVID PICTURE OF THE UNSEEN GOD

 

Intro - Two Truths... Romans 8:28 & Romans 5:4

 - Esther will help us understand and grasp these truths through the power of story

 

The Power of Story

- Surrounds us (we worry in story, dream in story, learn thru story)

- Engages us (stirs imagination)

- Connects us (we tell & learn stories to build relationship)

- Instructs us (ie Jesus use of parables)

- Implicates us (ie the prophet Nathan with David)

- Defines us

 

The Purpose of Esther

- 2 Timothy 3:14-16

- Romans 15:4

 

The Particulars of Esther

- Selective in Detail

- Specific in Arrangement (2 kings, 2 queens, 2 banquets, 2 plots, etc)

- Set in Susa (Historical context...Confucius born during this time; Socrates born in this cent.; Olympics already up & running)

 

The Problem of Esther

- Esther... complex figure

- Mordecai...complex figure

- Moral ambiguity

- What isn't in Esther...No mention of God

 

The Questions of Esther

- Is God with us even when we don't see Him?

- Will God deliver us even though we are in captivity?

 

The Good News of Esther

- Esther is Romans 8 & Romans 5 in story form

- Esther is symbolic of your life...you cannot understand it on its own, disconnected from the Larger Story

- When God seems conspicuously absent, He is nonetheless omnipotently and powerfully present. #tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROUP QUESTIONS

 

1) Have 1-2 folks share a fun family story to illustrate the power of story... (ie a vacation story, hiking/camping experience, personal injury story, etc). OR Discuss your favorite movie & why it is your favorite.

 

2) How have you experienced the power of story and not just propositional teaching?

 

3) What are you most looking forward to or intrigued by in the new Esther series?

 

4) Share about a time when God seemed absent or when you wondered or asked, "Is God with me?" or "Will God deliver me?"  Looking back, are there ways you can now see His hand at work & His presence with you? How so?

 

5) What was/is most helpful for you when you feel God is absent? How can we be encouraging and helpful to each other and others in those times?

 

6) Where in your life currently are you tempted or tested to wonder, "What is God up to?" What is hard about that? Where does your hope come from in those times?

 

7) Why is hope so important? How can we cultivate greater hope on a daily basis?

 

8) Where are you tempted to turn when you feel hopeless? What tends to be your "escape" instead of Jesus?

 

9) Pray for the Lord to use the book of Esther to build your group up, encourage your group, and give your group members greater hope. (See Romans 15:4)!

 

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