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December 10, 2023 Sermon Notes and Questions

Where is God?

Wk 1, “The Missing God”

Esther 1:1-21


Darin Elquist


Message Notes

The Book of Esther

     Date Written: 400BC

     Date Introduced: 200BC

     Author: The Men of the Great Assembly

     Purpose: To tell the origin story of the Festival of Purim. But as usual, there is also a greater theme. We see shining through this powerful text the sovereignty and faithfulness of God. The Book of Esther is a reminder that there is no such thing as coincidence.


Persia Under Xerxes

             127 Provinces

             The Capitol was Susa


Vashti Means, “Best” or “Beloved”

One of the Jewish Targums says that the king’s request was for her to wear ONLY her crown.

(Jewish Targum is translation of the Jewish Torah into Aramaic)

Xerxes Anger was Legendary

Once while on a campaign against Greece, a bridge was built across a body of water. A storm came and destroyed the bridge. Xerxes had his attendants beat the water 300 times with a whip and throw a set of chains into the water. Also, he had the builders of that bridge beheaded.

Ephesians 5:18
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Use

1 in 3 people will be involved in an alcohol related crash (doesn’t necessarily mean 1 in 3 are the drinkers)

43% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs or alcohol

13,384 people killed in 2021 by drunk drivers

Of those 13, 384 killed, about 4300 were under the age of 21.

According to the CDC…

1 in 6 adults binge drink

140,000 people will die because of excessive drinking (shortening lifespans by and average of 26 yrs)

1 in 5 death is caused Excessive drinking among young adults 20-49

Possible Immediate Effects Excessive Drinking

Injuries, Violence, Poisonings,

The “Alls”

     All the nobles

     The people of ALL the provinces

     ALL the women will know what she did


All these women will respond to ALL the king’s nobles in this way. There will be no end to the disrespect and discord.

You cannot force people to respect you.

You can force them to pretend to respect you. But real honest respect is earned.

When you’re influenced by anything other than the HS,

your actions and decisions will reflect that whatever that influence is.

Vashti’s, “no,” then, this edict, the king’s poor behavior and decision making are all the beginning of God fulfilling the promise made through Jeremiah that we read in the beginning of this message.

Ephesians 5:18-20
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“We are commanded to empty our lives

of not just excess wine…

but anything that would hold us under its influence.”

-Bryan Chappell

Have you ever wondered “Where is God?” when going through something difficult in your life?

Discuss the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. Do you think the Jewish people would have been wondering where is God when they were hauled away into captivity?

Does God always come through with His promises? Why or why not?

Read Esther 1:1-8

     What information given stands out to you from these verses?

Read Esther 1:9-12

     Are we permitted in scripture to not obey government authority?

     Why or why not and list the scriptures for reference.

Are there any earthly kings who are all powerful?

Is it ok for Christians to consume alcohol?

     What are some scriptures about alcohol?

Read Proverbs 22:29-35

     Do we usually make good decisions when intoxicated?

Read Esther 1:13-21

     Do you think the King has wise counselors?

     Why or why not?

     Is it good to have folks around us to counsel us?

     Who does the ultimate responsibility for the decision lie with?

Please pray for our government at all levels and our country in general. Keep Israel in your prayers.