Esther 2:5-7; 3:2; 4:1

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.




King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) ruled over the Persian Empire which he had inherited from his father, Darius I (see Daniel 6:1 and 6:25). This empire covered the countries we now know as Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel as well as parts of modern-day Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Arabia. Evidence of his existence and these events has been found in the ruins of the palace in Susa (Sushan) where they took place in about 483 BC. At this time Greece was still thriving and the city of Athens was celebrating the 79 th Olympic Games. Ezra had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt a simpler version of Solomon’s temple and Mordecai had not returned with him. The land of Judah was known as a wild and desolate place. It would still be some 40 years before Nehemiah would return to Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Mordecai had been taken to Persian with one of the groups of Jews who had been deported by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonians when Babylon had conquered Israel. He had accepted the responsibility of raising his orphaned cousin Esther. Esther’s Jewish name was Hadassah which means ‘myrtle’; her Persian name Esther means ‘star’. The young woman was very beautiful. When she was chosen to be the new queen, Mordecai had told her not to reveal her identity as a Jew (2:10-11). Once Esther was queen, Mordecai became aware of a plot against the king and, through Esther he advised Xerxes. The plot was foiled and Mordecai grew in the King’s esteem and was honoured by Xerxes (2:21-23).
But there were people in the King’s court who were jealous of Mordecai’s advancement. Haman, who had also risen in the King’s court was such a man. Although there is no mention of the King commanding people to pay homage to Haman such an order is implied. When Mordecai refused to do so – he would only honour God – Haman was furious.
He hatched a plot to get rid of Mordecai and all the Jews whom he saw as opposition and a possible threat to his own rise – and whilst telling the King only part of the story, the King decreed his suggestion as law. No Persian decree could be cancelled once it had been written. When Mordecai heard what was happening he had no hesitation in expressing his anguish in the way his people had used for generations. He wore sackcloth and covered himself in ashes and made no secret of bewailing the fate of his people. All the other Jews imitated Mordecai’s behaviour.
As suggested – read the book of Esther to discover the details of the story yourself!


What did your family do this year for Father’s Day?

In some cases this week there may be two sets of questions – one for the men and one for the ladies


  • Men: What do you think a ‘perfect male role model’ looks like – emphasizing character rather than personal looks?
  • Ladies: What is your idea of the character of a man whom you see as a perfect role model?
  • What similarities/variations are there between the two answers? What have you learned from each other’s responses?
  • Men: What responsibilities has God given you as a man? How have you responded to them? If you have your own children, what do you feel is your most important role as a father? If you do not have children, how can you be a role model for fatherless children? Where could you become involved and meet some? What would it mean to you?
  • Ladies: What do you value most about the men in your life who model the role of a man to your children? What does every child need in a father? If you do not have your own children, how can you encourage the men you know to fulfil their role as good men to the children you know? How do you let them know this is important to you?
  • How can you help one another to encourage the men in your group to become the role models the children of this nation need?
  • Men: How do you express your emotions? Is it a struggle for you to be open with others to do so – in this group, in your family? Where can you find a safe place to share how you are feeling? How would that make a difference in your life?
  • Ladies: How do you feel about a man who is willing to be honest and share how they are feeling? What suggestions can you make to help the men you know – in this group , in your family – to feel safe to be open with their emotions before they boil over in a negative way?
  • What have you learned from each other’s responses?
  • Men: How do you feel about swimming against the tide and standing up for your beliefs in work, social, church, sport or family situations? What may prevent you from doing so? How do you feel when you ‘go with the flow’ instead?
  • Ladies: How do you feel about men who are willing to stand up for right and integrity, wherever they find themselves? What would you say to the men in your group, family now?
  • What have you learned from each other’s responses?
  • Men: How can you support one another to be the honest, upright man God is calling you to be?
  • Ladies: How can you support your men to fulfil their calling as man of God?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

The message to Gracepoint men from Mulelo Bikwan:
Let’s want to be like God the Father, emulate the characteristics of God. They are high standards but try to attain them. Open your ears and hearts to hear the cries of our children, you own and others.
P.S. To the Gracepoint ladies
Pray for your men that they may become the men God wants them to be. Encourage and support them this week


Esther Chapter 2

Esther Chapter 3

Esther Chapter 4

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