This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus, and Jesus’ earthly family.
The next story from the Israelites found in the old testament before Jesus was born, is a story about a girl name Esther. There is a book in the Bible called Esther where you can read her story and our complete lesson on Esther can be found here. (Below is a condensed version of the story).
Esther was an Israelite, but all the Israelites had been moved and some were living in Persia. The King of Persia was not happy with the queen so he kicked her out and decided he would pick a new queen.
His guards picked up all the young ladies who were not yet married and brought them to the palace. They had to each meet with the king and the king would pick which one he liked best.
Esther wasn’t too sure about this, but her cousin Mordecai watched out for her but he made her promise not to tell anyone she was an Israelite. The Persians did NOT like the Israelites…especially, Haman, the king’s best helper. He HATED the Israelites, especially Mordecai, because Mordecai would not bow down to him.
So Haman decided he wanted all the Israelites killed and he kind of tricked the king into signing a law that said all the Israelites would be killed.
Well, the king picked Esther to be his new queen and when Mordecai heard that all the Israelites were to be killed, he asked Esther to help.
“You have to talk to the king for us! Ask him not to kill your whole family, all the Israelites!”
“I can’t go to the king without him asking me first. Anyone who goes before the king could be killed!”
“You have to try,” said Mordecai. “We will all pray for you.”
So Mordecai and the Israelites prayed and Esther prayed too. She got her strength from God and went to the king. He could have had her killed for coming to see him without being invited…but instead, he held out his royal scepter (like a very fancy stick) and that meant it was ok!
He asked what he could do her, and Esther got nervous and invited him to dinner. The king agreed and at dinner asked again, “What do you really want?”
Again, Esther asked that the king and Haman come to dinner the next night.
At dinner that night the king asked again. “What can I really do for you? You can have anything!”
Esther answered, “Someone is trying to kill my whole family! All my people!”
“Who would DO such a thing?!” asked the king.
“Haman, your majesty. I am an Israelite. And Haman had you sign the paper that said we could all die!”
The king was so unhappy that he had Haman killed instead and the Israelites were able to go free.
Numbers 24:17 says, ““I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”
This was a sign that Jesus would come and bring victory over His enemies. He would be like a star. Rev 22:16 says, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
And He would be like a scepter, royal, like a king, and giving us access to the Real King. When Jesus came, it was like God holding out His scepter us, saying, “It’s ok, come to me!”
When Jesus was born, there was a BIG, BRIGHT star over the barn in Bethlehem. It showed the shepherds and the wise men where to go to find Jesus. (Matthew 2)
God is a great King, but He loves us so much, He wants to know us and be with us. He will always lead us to Him, and will welcome us. (Matt 7:7)
Bible story: Esther
Attribute of God: Scepter
Jesus’ birth story: The Star
Side one of our ornament today is a scepter. We cut out a stick with a ball on the end and then decorated it. (Today the kids chose glitter, you could decorate it any way you want, of course.)
Our text reads: Esther led God’s people-the king held out his scepter. Esther, Numbers 24:17
Side two of our ornament is a star, made from cut out construction paper, then glue around the edges and glitter on top.
Our text reads: The star showed the way to the Messiah.
Our current tree front and back:
Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!