Bible Story: Esther 1-2
Text Truth: God has a plan for us, just like He did for Esther.
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6
In the last few weeks, we have been in the New Testament studying the book of Hebrews. Today, we are going to jump back into the Old Testament to study the book of Esther. This little book only has 8 chapters but it is packed full of amazing truths to learn from one incredible true story. Today, we will just focus on the first 2 chapters.
Question: If we are in the book of Esther, who do you think we will learn about today?
We are going to learn about Esther! Before we talk about Esther, let’s talk about what was happening in the city where Esther lived. Esther lived in Shushan. Shushan was the capital city of Persia, and it is where the Palace used to be. King Ahasuerus was the ruler of all Persia during this time and his Queen was named Vashti.
One day, the King was having a party for all his officials and helpers. Queen Vashti was also having a party of her own. When the King called for Vashti to join his celebration, she refused to go. This made King Ahasuerus VERY angry. He was so angry that he sent Vashti away from the palace and made her no longer queen. When the King’s anger was gone, his servants suggested that he choose a new girl to become queen.
The process of picking a queen was not short at all. After all the girls of the Kingdom were gathered to the palace in Shushan, they spent an entire year taking part in what the Bible calls “purification” (Esther 2:3). During this year, the girls would spend time making themselves as beautiful as possible for the King. Maybe they were even taught how to act in the palace and what to say to the King. One of the girls that were gathered to the palace was Esther.
Read: Esther 2:5-8. The Bible gives us so many details about the life of Esther before she was taken to the palace with the rest of the girls. We know that Esther’s parents had died. She was living with her cousin Mordecai who had adopted her as his own daughter. Her name before Esther was Hadassah. Both Esther and her cousin were Jewish. All in all, Esther was just a normal girl.
Question: How do you think Esther felt when she was told she had to be taken to the palace for an entire year for the slight chance she might be picked as queen? (Excited to live in the palace for a year? Worried to be away from Mordecai? Nervous to go before the King? Upset to have to go through this? Excited to maybe be queen?)
No matter what feelings Esther may have had during this time, we know that God had a plan for her. He already knew what was going to happen.
Read Esther 2:16-18. When it was time for Esther to go to the King, he thought Esther was the most beautiful girl of all. He made her his new queen and gave her the royal crown! The King then threw a huge party to celebrate Esther. Wow!
After Esther became queen, her cousin Mordecai,who worked at the palace gates, heard something horrible. He heard that two of the guards were planning to kill the king. Mordecai immediately told Esther who was able to warn the king. Mordecai was able to save the king’s life!
God had a plan for Esther’s life. Even if at one point it seemed like it didn’t make sense, God knew how it would make sense. At this point in the story, Esther did not know how important it was going to be for her to be queen. God was laying the foundation for her to do something really big for His people. Just like God had a plan for Esther, He has a plan for you! He knows His whole plan for our lives from beginning to end. Even when we don’t understand, we can trust His plan.
1)Royal Crown Craft
Supplies: a paper plate, scissors, and markers
Do: Fold the paper plate in half. While folded, mark the plate in fourths and cut only to the ruffled edge of the plate. Open the paper plate to make the final two cuts (see pictures below).
Have fun and decorate with markers. Other options include: adding buttons and/or stickers; writing the memory verse on the rim.
To make the crown part stand up, fold the cut triangles into place.
2) What’s The Purpose? Game
Supplies: Pillowcase/bag; household items (suggested items include: flashlight, pencil, hairbrush, napkin, phone, Bible, remote control, soap)
Do & Say: Place household items in the bag before anyone else sees them. Hold it open so that one child/parent can look in it. They can put their hand in the bag to explore what items are in the pillow case, but they must not take an item out. Tell the child/parent to mentally choose an item. Without saying what the object is, they should tell the group what the purpose of the item is. Have the others try to guess what the item is.
If children are really young, you can invite them to look in the pillowcase and pick the item that matches the purpose described.
Once an item has been correctly guessed, remove it from the bag. Play until all items have been removed.
“Each of these items has a very specific purpose. If you need to see in the dark, you wouldn’t grab your hairbrush because the purpose of the hairbrush isn’t to provide light. In the same way, God created you for a purpose and has a wonderful plan for your life! God also had a plan for Esther and created her for a very special purpose that He specifically had set aside for her.”
ACTIVITY SHEET LINKS (Click the link to download a printable pdf)