Esther & Galatians: Liberated in Christ Lesson 2: Liberty to Reign Key Verses:...while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days.~Esther 1.4 *All scripture will be from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible* Using the “3 Deep Bible Study” handout, use this space to write Esther 1.1-9 Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned notes, observations, questions, and from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, 2 in those days when King applications as you prayerfully Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel, 3 in the third year study this passage of the Bible. of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, 4 while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days. 5 And when these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the citadel, both great and small, a feast lasting for seven days in the court of the garden of the king's palace. 6 There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones. 7 Drinks were served in golden vessels, vessels of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king. 8 And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired. 9 Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the palace that belonged to King Ahasuerus. DEITY: King of Kings~ In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself: ● as the ultimate King over all creation (1 Chronicles 29.11; 2 Chronicles 20.6; Psalms 93.1-2; 95.3-6; 104; 136.1-9; Isaiah 37.16) ● as well as the ultimate King over His people (Genesis 1.26-30 – key word “dominion”; 1 Samuel 12.12-13; Psalms 47). God the Father gave His son, Jesus, the kingship to rule as King of the Kingdom of God after He ascended to heaven, having provided salvation for God’s people (Philippians 2.9-11; Hebrews 12.2).
Highlight within the above scripture verses or phrases that help you understand God as” King of Kings”. Read 2-3 verses included in the definition of this Deity. What do they tell you about God as King of Kings?
The Shorter Westminster Catechism asks: “How is Christ a king?” The answer: “As a king, Christ brings us under His power, rules and defends us, and restrains and conquers all His and all our enemies.” (1 Corinthians 15.21-28) DOCTRINE: Kingdom of God~ This is a present reality where God rules and reigns over all (2 Chronicles 20.6; Daniel 4.3,17). However, Jesus also taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come” (Matthew 6.10). The Kingdom of God “comes” as the gospel is shared (Isaiah 52.7; Acts 28.23,30-31), and people embrace the reign and rule of God in their lives (Psalm 145.11-12; Mark 15.43; 1 Thessalonians 5.9-10; 2 Thessalonians 1.5,11-12; 2 Timothy 4.18; 1 John 3.16-24).
Highlight within the above scripture verses or phrases that help you understand the “Kingdom of God”. Read 2-3 verses included in the definition of this doctrine. What do they teach you about the Kingdom of God? 1
Esther & Galatians: Liberated in Christ The Kingdom of God is both now and not yet inaugurated but not fully consummated (Daniel 7.27). When the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2.9-11), returns His Kingdom will be established in all its fullness (1 Corinthians 15.23-24; Revelation 19.11-16), and He shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11.15; 19.6). Amen! Diamonds: These questions are to be completed prior to listening to the lecture. Their purpose is to provide context, connecting the passage to God’s work in the entire Bible, and facilitating thoughtful meditation of the passage for personal application. We encourage you to spend time answering as many of these questions as you can answer. Please be prepared to share your thoughts from one or two of these questions in your weekly group discussion. 1. List the details of King Ahasuerus’ and Queen Vashti’s feast:
a. Which detail(s) is (are) most impressive to you?
2. What is the King Ahasuerus’ “edict” (v 8)?____________________________________________________ a. Compare this edict, or command, with the commands of God’s people found in the following verses: i. Exodus 20.1-17____________________________________________________________ ii. Deuteronomy 6.4-9_________________________________________________________ iii. Matthew 5.27-28, 38-44; 22.36-40______________________________________________ iv. v.
John 13.4-5, 12-15, 34_______________________________________________________ Galatians 5.16-24; 1 John 3.16-24______________________________________________
b. As you read from both the Old and New Testament, what do you notice about God’s commands?
What explains what you notice about God’s commands? Or, who explains what you notice about God’s commands? If you reference scripture in this answer, please include the address of the verse.________________________________________________________
3. Under whose kingdom and commands do you live: God’s Kingdom or the kingdom of the world, like King Ahasuerus’?_________________________________________________________________________ a. What would it look like for you to live under the reign of the King of Kings?
Practicing Remembrance (“zakar”): This Hebrew verb is an action word. As we are intentional about remembering God and His work in us, we are called to take action (1 Chronicles 16.8-12; Isaiah 46.9; Luke 22.1020). In this section we want to know what action(s) you will take, or have taken, as you remembered God while studying this week. And/Or, write an eye-opening or mind-blowing truth about God revealed to you in this lesson or in the lecture. What action(s) will you take, or have you taken, in light of this truth about God? 2
Esther & Galatians: Liberated in Christ Praying for God’s work in our lives: Write a prayer and/or praise using what God revealed to you this week in your personal study of this lesson, or as you reflected on this week’s lecture. Please be willing to share this prayer and/or praise, in your weekly group discussion. Your discussion group leader will provide you details about the appropriate time for sharing personal prayer requests.
As you pray this week, ask God what it would look like for you to live under the reign of the King of Kings. Write down this request of God, and then any new thoughts or answers He may be providing as you meditate on what He is teaching you through His Word and this week’s lesson:
Lecture Outline: Aim: God alone rules and reigns as the true King of kings. I. Widespread Kingdom (Esther 1.1-4) T1: God alone is King over all the kingdoms of the earth. a. Who or what rules and reigns over your life? b. Which kingdom holds your heart’s allegiance? An earthly kingdom? The kingdom of self? Or the kingdom of God? II. Wealthy Kingdom (Esther 1.5-9) T2: God alone deserves all worship, honor, and glory. a. What worldly object or desire competes for your heart’s worship? b. What actions are you taking to honor God? c. How do the words of your mouth and the work of your hands glorify God?