1. The special principle revealed in Romans 8:28 is illustrated in the book of Esther. 2. Review of ch.1-9:19: a. (ch.1) Ahasuerus, king of Persia, removed Vashti as queen. b. (ch.2) Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman, was chosen to be the new queen. c. (ch.3) Haman devised a plot to destroy the Jews, and he manipulated the king into making an official law that would accomplish his desire. d. (ch.4) Mordecai involved Esther in the situation that had developed. e. (ch.5) Esther asked the king and Haman to attend a banquet she had prepared, and, at the banquet, she asked them to attend another one the following day. f. (ch.6) Between the banquets, the king honored Mordecai, and Haman was humiliated. g. (ch.7) Esther exposed Haman's wickedness, and he was put to death. h. (ch.8) Since Persian law could not be altered or reversed, another law was enacted that would allow the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies. i. (9:1-19) The Jews destroyed their enemies with assistance from the Persian officials. 3. As we conclude our study of Esther, in: a. 9:20-32, "Purim" was established as an annual feast b. 10:1-3, the king, Mordecai, and the Jews were blessed.
I. (9:20-32) "PURIM" WAS ESTABLISHED AS AN ANNUAL FEAST
A. (3:7, 12-13) The 13th day of the 12th month was the time selected for destroying the Jews. 1. This time was selected by casting "Pur" [the lot]. 2. "Casting lots" is also mentioned in: a. Leviticus 16:8-10 b. Numbers 26:55-56 c. Jonah 1:7 d. John 19:23-24 e. Acts 1:23-26. B. The Jews: 1. in Shushan had destroyed their enemies on the 13th and 14th days of Adar, and they celebrated on the 15th day (9:18) 2. in the rest of the empire destroyed their enemies on the 13th day of Adar, and they celebrated on the 14th day (9:16-17, 19). C. (vs.20-22) Mordecai instructed the Jews through letters that they were to observe the 14th and 15th days of Adar as a time of feasting each year. D. (vs.23-28) The Jews determined that they would follow Mordecai's instructions. 1. The feast was called "Purim." 2. This annual feast would remind the Jews of the events that had occurred. E. (vs.29-32) Esther confirmed Mordecai's instructions.
II. (10:1-3) THE KING, MORDECAI, AND THE JEWS WERE BLESSED
A. The book of Esther shows how enemies cannot separate God's people from His love (Romans 8:31-39). B. The observance of Purim shows how the Lord's people need to be regularly reminded of His goodness (Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).