On Sunday, August 14, Cassie finished telling the Primary Class about the Book of Esther with the help of her actors.
After Haman’s decree to kill the Jewish people was sent all throughout the land, Mordecai got word of the plan and went into mourning at the King’s gate. Mordecai was not supposed to be in sack cloth (or mourning clothes) in the King’s gate and would not be consoled when Esther sent a servant to him with fresh clothes. Esther finally went to Mordecai herself to find out why he was so sad.
Mordecai told her of Haman’s evil plan to kill the Jewish people and urged her to go to the King and try to stop it. Esther knew, though, that if she went to the King without a special invitation and was not acknowledged in his presence, she could have been put to death. She shared her concerns with Mordecai, but Mordecai told her that she was the queen and that God may have placed her in a position of power for at time such as this– to save the Jewish people from destruction. Esther asked Mordecai and the Jewish people to pray and fast with her for three days and then she would go before the king.
On the day that Esther went before the King without an invitation, King A immediately favored her and acknowledged her with his golden scepter.
King A was willing to hear Esther’s petition and even offered her up to half of his kingdom. All that Esther asked of him was that he and Haman would attend her banquet that she had prepared for him. Haman was pleased that Esther had asked him to attend her banquet and ran out of the palace to go and tell his wife Zeresh. On his way out, though, he passed Mordecai, who again refused to pay reverence to Haman. This spoiled Haman’s day and he went home to complain to his wife. His wife suggested that Haman build some gallows to hang Mordecai on and Haman like that plan so much, he immediately commissioned the gallows to be built.
At the banquet, King A again asked Esther what was her petition and once more offered his kingdom to her. Esther declined and asked for Haman and Mordecai to join her at a second banquet the next day, to which they both obliged. That night, King A could not sleep. To help him fall asleep, he had his servant read to him from the King’s book. The servant read to him how Mordecai had saved his life. The King was so grateful that his life was saved and asked the servant what was done for Mordecai as a reward. When the servant replied that nothing was done for him, King A began to think what he could do to show his appreciation. King A heard someone in his garden and asked that person Haman to come inside. When Haman came in from the garden, the King asked Haman what he should do for the person the King wished to honor.
Haman, being full of himself, thought he was the one being honored and told the King he should give the person the royal crown, the king’s robe, and parade the person through the streets on the king’s horse. King A told Haman to go fetch Mordecai and array with the king’s robes and crown and take him throughout the city.
At the second banquet, Esther came into the banquet in tears and began to explain to King A that Haman had planned to kill all the Jewish people. She revealed to the King that she, too, was a Jew and would perish if Haman’s evil decree was not reversed.
The King, angry at Haman, allowed Esther and Mordecai to write and send a letter throughout the kingdom to reverse the decree and seal it with his ring. Haman was then taken and hanged on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai.
In the end, Esther showed bravery and saved her people from destruction. The Jewish people were able to defend themselves and destroy those who had wanted to hurt them. Cassie stressed to the children that God allowed Esther to be placed in the queen’s position because she had a purpose to do. Each of us that are children of God have a purpose set before us. It is up to us to accept our purpose and do God’s will.
At the end of the lesson, the children continued working on their masks of the people in the book of Esther.
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place: but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14