October 30: Esther Saved Her People
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Let’s set the scene for the story of how Esther saved her people. The Babylonian captivity had ended while Cyrus was king. Some of God’s people—now referred to as Jews (people from Judah)—traveled back to Judah to rebuild the temple, the city, and their lives. Others, however, stayed in Persia where life among the pagans was relatively comfortable.
Ahasuerus (uh haz yoo EHR uhs), also known by his Greek name, Xerxes (ZUHRK seez), was the king of Persia. Esther was a young Jewish girl who became queen by winning a beauty contest of sorts. Before becoming queen, Esther was an orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai.
Mordecai had an enemy, Haman the Agagite (a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites). The king gave Haman an important position in the kingdom; people were supposed to bow down to Haman when he passed by. Mordecai refused. Infuriated, Haman wanted to destroy not only Mordecai but all of the Jews in the kingdom.
Mordecai turned to Esther for help. After all, she was in a position of power; and the Jews were her people. The stakes were high, but Esther approached the king and explained her people’s plight. God was in control over Haman’s evil plan to destroy the Jews. Like Haman, Satan wants to destroy believers. He thought he had won when Jesus died on the cross, but God raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. (Heb. 2:14-15)
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