Here is part 9 of our kids Bible lessons based on the book of Esther. This lesson teaches the way the Lord allowed the Jewish people to defend themselves against their enemies and the start of the Jewish holiday, Purim. This lesson works well for Children’s Church or for Sunday School.
Note: The book of Esther can be difficult to relate back to Jesus and his Good News. One clear connection is the promise that the Savior would be born from the family of Abraham. The plot to eliminate the Jews (the promised family) was a threat to God’s promise. When God saved Esther and the Jews in Persia, he was also protecting the future birth of Jesus according to his promises. The saving work of Christ was directly tied to God’s saving work in the book of Esther.
Bible Story: The Lord Protect His People
Scripture: Esther 9:1-32
Target Age Group: Age 7 – 12 (U.S. 1st – 6th Grade)
Time: 30 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson…
- Children express their knowledge of the key people and events taught in this chapter by retelling the story.
- Children express what they learn about how the Jews defended themselves against their enemies.
- Children express what they learn about the new holiday the Jews celebrated ever since this time in history.
Curriculum Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th grade
- Bible: Esther 9:1-32. Prepare prior to teaching a copy of the important points to ensure specific explanation of them.
- Visual Aids: King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Mordecai, (optional: pictures of Jews defending themselves and celebrating Purim, if can be located.) Try searching those names on Google Images.
- Treats for reward after the game.
Children’s Church Teaching Plan:
Review the previous chapters with the children for those who missed the lessons and to remind the children where you are in the storyline. Remind them that Esther had been selected as Queen but kept her Jewish heritage secret until the proper time. Talk to the children about the hatred Haman had for Mordecai and all the Jews and the plot he made to annihilate them. Emphasize the fact that decrees could not be changed when sealed with the king’s signet ring.
Establish the lesson briefly by explaining who the key people to the story are by showing pictures of King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Mordecai, and pictures of the Jews either defending themselves or celebrating Purim. Make sure the children repeat their names.
Prior to reading the chapter, divide the children into two groups and ask one half of the children to listen for the ways the Jews defended themselves against their enemies. Ask the other half of the children to identify what they learn about the new holiday the Jews established from the events happening in their lives.
Read (and Recap) Esther 9:1-32. Read with different voice inflections and stop to involve the children into the story. Reinforce the lesson by asking questions. What did the enemies of the Jews hope to accomplish? They wanted to annihilate all the Jews. Who helped defend the Jews? All of the princes of the provinces, satraps, governors, and those doing the king’s business helped them. What was the reason they were willing to help? They were afraid of Mordecai. Did the Jews take the plunder from their enemies? No. What was the reason Mordecai set up an annual holiday at this time of year? The Jews could celebrate their sorrow turned into gladness. How many days was the holiday, Purim, to be celebrated? Two days.
When you’re finished reading the chapter, use the pictures to review the important people and events in the chapter.
Ask for a response from the children about their listening assignment. How were the Jews allowed to deal with their enemies? What holiday resulted from this time in history?
Help the children learn more about the starting of holidays based on specific events or people in history in game style. Using the previous divided groups, set them up as team A and B. Give Team A either a holiday or event and see if they can match the proper holiday and historical event together. Eg. Jesus’ Birth=Christmas; Jesus’ Resurrection=Easter; Pilgrim’s survival=Thanksgiving. Give each child a treat when the game is over regardless of which team won.
Children’s Church Lesson Evaluation:
Ask for volunteers to help retell this chapter to the class. Remember to prompt the children by asking, “What happened next?”
Ask for a volunteer to explain the creation of a holiday from this event in history.
Give a list of questions and ask the children if they pertain to this particular chapter.
- Esther was selected queen over all the other girls. True, but not in this chapter.
- The Jews defended themselves against their enemies. Yes.
- Haman came up with a scheme to kill Mordecai and all the Jews. True, but not in this chapter.
- Haman approached Queen Esther in an inappropriate way. True, but not in this chapter.
- A new holiday called Purim began. Yes.
- A letter was sent to all the Jews about the new holiday. Yes.