Esther

Do you want to be more influential with your life? This Sunday, find out how to influence people from the life of Esther.

Heroes of Faith: Esther
How to Influence People
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – April 9th, 2017

Intro:

  • Have you ever wanted to have more influence with your life? This morning, we are going to learn how to influence people from the example of Esther.  I am going to set up Esther’s story by connecting it to the ongoing story of the people of Israel.
  • The people of Israel set up their kings and battles, and had their priests and prophets. There were some very good kings and some very bad ones as well.  During the time Esther was alive, Israel had been taken over the king of Persia.  He had conquered the whole area from India to Ethiopia, organizing it into 127 providences with the capital in Susa (which is modern day Iran).
  • The king was extremely wealthy and powerful, and he enjoyed showing it off. He held a 7-day feast. On the last day, he wanted to show off the queen to his guests, so he asked her to leave her party to come to his.  Queen Vashti refused, and the King was very angry. To make a point and avoid embarrassment, he removed her as Queen and made a decree that “all women must give honor to their husbands, high and low alike” in all the providences.
  • After this happened, a search began to find a new queen. They collected all the beautiful, young virgin girls, brought them to Susa, gave them one year of beauty treatments, and then brought them to the king, one at a time, for an overnight with him to choose the next Queen. Esther was one of these girls.
  • Esther was living in Susa because her family had been captured and brought there by the previous king. Esther’s parents died, so she was being raised by her Uncle Mordecai, who took her in as his own daughter.
  • Here is the picture: the wealthiest and most powerful man in the world, about to be influenced by a captive, enslaved, orphaned, young lady. The highest person will be influenced by the lowest. Here is how she influenced him, and how you can influence others as well:

Gain favor

Est 2:8-9 ESV
Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. 9 And the young woman pleased him and won his favor.

Est 2:15 ESV
Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.

Est 2:17 ESV
the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

  • Gaining favor is extremely important. This will open doors for you. The Book of Proverbs gives some ways you can win favor.

Prov 3:3-4 ESV
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Prov 3:34 ESV
To the humble he gives favor.

Prov 12:2 ESV
A good man obtains favor from the Lord

Prov 13:15 ESV
Good sense wins favor

Prov 14:35 ESV
A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor

Prov 22:1 ESV
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

  • Use what you have (money, etc.) to gain favor – because having favor is more valuable than great riches.
  • Esther did all these things, and having favor made her influential.
  • The story of what happened with Mordecai and Haman, and how Mordecai asked Esther for help

Est 4:14 ESV
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

  • Use your influence for good, to do what is right, godly and just . . .

Pray earnestly

Est 4:16-17 ESV
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

  • This is prayer, petition, and preparing yourself – not manipulation of God . . .
  • This was done earnestly – she did not just ask other, but she did it as well . . . (don’t depend on others to do all the praying for you) Ask God to prepare the way as we prepare ourselves

Mark 2:20-22  ESV
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.  21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.  22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

  • We fast to prepare ourselves – if you need something repaired – a hole fixed, a ripping (garment) or if you need to be refiled with something new (wineskin) then prepare yourself by fasting

Be courageous

Est 5:1 ESV
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace

  • Do something – don’t just wait for something to happen – use your favor for good. You have to step into the situation, and this does require risk. Courage is given to those who fear the right things.

Have the right approach

Est 5:2-4 ESV
And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. 3 And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” 4 And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.”

  • This woman is brilliant in her approach! She does not immediately share her request with him, but she makes sure that he is in a good place, and that the right people are present to hear her request. She invites them to two separate meals – she waits for and makes the right time – and then this is how she asks:

Est 7:3-5  ESV
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. 4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.”

  • “If I have found favor” – this is not a demand or a command – but a request, based upon his love for her. She tells him what has happened . . . and then says that if it were just slavery, she would not have asked, but since she and her people were to be killed, it would be a loss to the king.
  • She framed this in a way that she was looking out for his interests – brilliant indeed.

Conclusion

  • The rest of the story . . .
  • Gain favor, pray earnestly, be courageous, have the right approach
  • How Jesus did these things – the redeemer (Palm Sunday)
  • Prayer people and prayer

Questions for the ride home:

  1. What can you be doing to gain favor with people?
  2. How much have you earnestly prayed about your situation?
  3. Is the approach you are using working to get the desired results? If not, think, research and then courageously try a different approach.