The students will be able to relate the story of Esther and give a reason why she qualified to be used of God.
Introduction: Ahead of class time, make a crown from silver or gold foil. (If you wish, make one for each of your students.) Put the crown on yourself, or on one of the students, and open your class session by asking if they have ever imagined what it would be like to suddenly be made a prince or princess. Tell them that your Bible story today is about a good woman that God allowed to become a queen, because He had a special purpose for her and He knew that she would allow herself to be used by God.
Climax: The king grants Esther her request. Subsequently Haman is hung for his conspiracy and the Jews are given liberty to defend themselves and consequently are not destroyed.
Conclusion: God is able to use Esther to provide deliverance for her people because of her courage.
Response: The students should be able to describe how God was able to use Esther because of her courage and compassion for her fellow man. They will recognize that God is looking for people in our day, too, whom He can use.
Esther's ancestors had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and subsequently she had been born in captivity to Abihail the uncle of Mordecai. Because of her beauty, Esther was chosen to take the place of Vashti, the queen of Ahasuerus. However, it was not her beauty but her strength of character, courage, faith, and resolution that God used to save the Jewish people when they were threatened with destruction.
The man next to the king was offended because Mordecai would not bow to him. He determined to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom. He went to the king and persuaded him that there were people in his province that were undesirable and he offered to put up a large sum of money to have them destroyed. The king signed an unalterable decree to carry out Haman's program. Mordecai told Esther what had happened and asked her to intercede for her people. It could have cost her life to go unto the king uninvited, but she determined to do so. The king received her and though he could not change the edict to destroy the people, he gave them the permission to defend themselves and thus the nation of the Jews was spared.
To this day, the Jews annually celebrate the feast of Purim in remembrance of their miraculous deliverance through the courageous Queen Esther.
Write and tape a make-believe interview with Queen Esther. Try to emphasize her relationship with God, and also historical information connected with this story.
Dress as a queen or royalty, including crown, scepter, rich robe, and throne. Label each piece with traits that Esther showed—willingness to obey God, readiness to use talents, and a desire to see fairness and justice done.
For this last lesson of the quarter, gather all the traits of the people God used and write them on parts of a body made from paper (see Patterns). Pass out the pieces to different students and then put the figure together with tape, brads, felt strips, or pins. Remind the students they have these traits of character which they need to use for Jesus. Esther used what she had for the Lord—position, beauty, hostess abilities, culinary arts. We need only use what we have for the Lord. We can sew for Sunday school; make cookies for seamen or open house; clean the church, mow the lawns of the church or parsonage; baby-sit for mothers who sing or play for church. These duties show such godly traits as were portrayed by the people God used in our Bible lessons—faithfulness, willingness, helpfulness, etc.