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7

Lesson

Esther’s Banquet

Esther 5; 6; Prophets and Kings, p. 602

 

The Message

With God’s help, I have the courage to do what is right.

Memory Verse

“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).

Have you ever been to a special dinner where everyone dressed in their best clothes? Esther planned a special dinner, a banquet, for the king and Haman.



 

After three days and nights of not eating and drinking, Esther dressed in her prettiest clothes. Then she went to see the king. She walked to the door of his throne room and stood quietly. When King Xerxes saw her, he smiled and held out his gold scepter. Esther walked toward him and touched it.

“What can I do for you, my queen?” he smiled. “I’ll give you up to half of my kingdom.”

“I’ve prepared a banquet for you and Haman today,” replied Esther. “Will you please come?”

come?” “Of course! We’ll be there,” he said to Esther.

Later when Haman and the king were at her banquet, the king asked Esther, “What can I do for you, Queen Esther?

Remember, I’ll give you up to half of my kingdom.”

“Come back tomorrow with Haman to another banquet,” she replied. “I will answer your question then.”

Haman left for home feeling very happy. Not everyone was invited to dinner with the king and queen! Then he saw Mordecai sitting at the gate. Mordecai did not bow to him. He didn’t even stand up when he saw Haman. Haman was very angry, but he said nothing.

When Haman arrived home, he bragged to his family and friends, “I have 10 sons. I have money and power. The king likes me. He gave me a great position. I’m the most important person in the palace after the king. I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to her banquet for the king. And she invited me back again tomorrow.”

Then he complained to them about Mordecai. “Everything would be perfect except for him,” he said. “He’s always sitting at the king’s gate. He refuses to honor me.”

“Why don’t you have him hanged?” someone suggested.

Haman liked that idea. So he had his workmen build a hanging platform.

That night, the king had trouble going to sleep. So he asked one of his servants to bring the daily court record to him. He read about the two guards who had planned to kill him. Then he read about Mordecai’s part in reporting those plans.

“Mordecai saved my life! Did we reward him?” the king asked his servant.

“No, sir,” said the servant. “We never did.”

The next morning Haman came before the king. He planned to ask for permission to hang Mordecai. But before he could say anything, the king asked him a question: “What should be done to honor a man who has done a good thing?”

Haman thought the king was talking about him. So he replied, “Give him a royal robe and crown to wear. Let him ride through the streets on a royal horse. Have your servant announce, ‘This is what the king does for a man he wants to honor.’”

“I like that idea, Haman,” King Xerxes replied. “Do everything that you’ve said for Mordecai right away. Don’t leave anything out.”

Haman had to do what the king asked. But he was so embarrassed and ashamed that he hid his face all the way home. When he got there, he told his friends and family what had happened.

“You’re losing all your power to Mordecai,“ they said. “You can’t win. You’re going to be ruined.” But before Haman had time to answer, the king’s servants arrived. They hurried Haman away to the second banquet Queen Esther had prepared.

What would happen? What would Esther say? God would be with her. And God will be with you, too.