Advent-Day 19-Esther

Hi all!

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

Craft:

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

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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.

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Our current tree front and back:

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Esther

Hi all!

Welcome back. Today’s story is one of my favorites.

It is from the book of Esther.

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The Israelites had been taken from the promised land and some of them from Judah (Jews) were living in Persia. The king of Persia was Xerxes. One day, the king had a party and called for the queen. “Come show my friends how pretty you are!”

“Excuse me?!” she said. “No.” The queen refused to show off for all the men, and because she had “disobeyed the kin,” king got rid of her and decided he would pick a new queen.

The king’s helpers went out and found all the unmarried young women and brought them to the castle.

One of the girls they found and took to the palace was named Esther. She was an Israelite, and her cousin, Mordecai took care of her. He visited everyday to see how she was doing and he made sure she didn’t tell ANYONE she was an Israelite.

All of the girls had to take turns going before the king. Most chose to wear a lot of makeup, fancy clothes and jewelry. Esther decided to just be herself and the king chose HER to be his new queen. He liked her very much.

Later, one day while Mordecai was at the castle gates, he heard two of the king’s helpers making a plan to kill the king. He told Esther who told the king and the men were killed, but nobody really told Mordecai “thank you.”

Now King Xerxes had a helper named Haman. He was the king’s best helper, and he expected everyone to bow down to him, like the king. But Mordecai would NOT bow down to him and that made him very very angry. When Haman learned Mordecai was an Israelite, he decided to kill ALL the Israelites.

So Haman went to the king and said, “There are some people here who do not honor the king and do not do what the king says. Now sign this piece of paper that says we can destroy them.” The king said, “Sure…whatever. You can do whatever you want,” and he signed the paper.

Mordecai was really really sad about the news and when Esther found out he was really sad, she sent one of her servants to find out why. Mordecai told the servant everything and he said Esther needed to go before the king and ask for help.

The rule was though, that anyone who walked into the king’s room without being invited, would be killed. Esther was scared.

Mordecai reminded her that maybe God had let her become queen for such a time as this. Maybe God planned to use Esther. She could trust God and not be afraid to do the right thing.

So Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the people and pray for 3 days. She also prayed for 3 days and then…she went to the king.

So Esther got dressed up, tried to be brave and she went to the king…knowing he could have her killed if he wanted to. But when he saw her, he was happy! He invited her in and said, “What can I do for you?”

Esther asked the king and Haman to come to dinner.

At dinner that night, the king said, “What do you really want? You can have up to half my kingdom…anything for my Esther.”

“If it pleases the king, I would like you and Haman to come to dinner tomorrow too!”

“Yes, that’s a good idea! We will come!” answered the king.

That evening Haman saw Mordecai and was so angry, he decided he would kill Mordecai himself. Also that evening, the king couldn’t sleep. He called in one of his servants to read to him. The servant was reading some of the stories of the castle and the king was reminded of the time Mordecai had warned him about the bad guys.

“Did we ever do anything for him?” asked the king.

“No sire.”

“Hmm…bring in Haman!” the king called. “Haman! what should be done for the man the king wants to honor?”

(Now Haman thought the king was talking about HIM, he was SURE the king wanted to celebrate HIM, so…he came up with a great plan.)

“If the king wants to celebrate somebody,” said Haman, “he should put on the king’s best clothes, and ride on the king’s best horse. Let one of the king’s best helpers walk the horse around town and shout, ‘This is what is done for someone the king likes!'”

“Great!” replied the king. “Go do that for Mordecai.”

MORDECAI?! Haman HATED Mordecai!?But he had to obey. So they brought Mordecai and Haman put the king’s best robe on him, and put him on the king’s best horse and he led Mordecai around town saying, “The king wants to celebrate this man. This man is honored by the king!”

When he got home that night, Haman was SO SO angry…but he had to hurry off to the dinner with the king and Esther.

At dinner, the king again asked, “What can I do for you, my Esther? You can have up to half my kingdom…anything for you.”

Esther answered, “If you are pleased with me…please save my people! Someone is planning to kill my whole family! All my people!”

“Who would DO such a thing to my wonderful queen?!” shouted the king.

“Haman. He is our enemy.”

The king was SO angry with Haman he ordered Haman be killed. Just the way he had planned to kill Mordecai, now Haman would die. And Mordecai became the king’s best helper.

The king made a new rule, that the Israelites could defend themselves. And when the day came for them to be destroyed, they fought and won!

Esther was a regular girl, but she trusted God and He had big plans for her. God has big plans for you too and we know we can always trust in God. Sometimes things in life seem scary or we don’t understand why they happen, but we can trust God and see how we can show others His power and love.

There is a cute veggie tales video of Esther. Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.