Nigeria Baptist Church Sunday School Manual For April 19, 2020 : Topic – INJUSTICE WILL BE PUNISHED.
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Sunday, April 19, 2020.
TOPIC: INJUSTICE WILL BE PUNISHED.
Esther 3; 5; 7.
So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided. Esther 7:10
Primary Learning Outcome/Indicators:
Learners will know that God is God of justice and indicate achievement of this by:
• Recognising the intervention of God in the Jews’ situation as justice deserved;
• Identifying the God-given wisdom Esther displayed in fighting for justice for her people;
• Explaining that justice will prevail over injustice as exemplified in the case of the Jews.
One Saturday morning, the youths in a Village came out in their large numbers chanting and displaying placards with different inscriptions like, “We need justice” “Stop the oppression”, “Injustice will be punished” “God will judge”. When interviewed, the leader of the group explained the reason for their protest. He frowned at the injustice, ill-treatment and oppression against the youths by some individuals who claim to be chiefs in the village. They labour without adequate compensation, suffer undue punishment, and imprisonment. “All these must stop”, he said. Human society is known for injustice. People have sought for justice but they got injustice instead. But one thing is sure that injustice will not always prevail when God intervenes. This is the case of the Jews who were in Susa. They were almost eliminated but for God’s intervention. Mordecai’s plea to Esther to intervene in Haman’s evil plan to destroy the entire Jewish nation can best be described as justice deserved.
The focus of today’s lesson is the deliverance of the people of Israel and the punishment of their enemy. The book of Esther has no mention of God but it portrays the miraculous deliverance of the people of God through the gracious intervention of God, using Esther as an instrument. Esther, though initially was fearful of her life, later endangered her life and became the instrument God used to fight the injustice against the Jews.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. A ROYAL PERMIT: [Esther 7:1-2]
Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews in Susa because Mordecai refused to bow to honour him like the other royal officials (Esther 3:2, 6). When Mordecai heard of the evil plan, he sought for Esther’s intervention, and she was willing to do everything possible to save her people from total destruction. Having prayed, twice Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet in her house (Esther 5:1-7; 7:1). The purpose of this invitation was to make her petition known to the king so that the verdict to wipe out the nation of Israel would be averted. So the king and Haman went to Esther to eat with her the second time. Eventually, Esther found favour in the sight of the king. During each of the banquet, the king granted Esther a royal permit to request whatever she wanted (Esther 5:6; 7:2). He said to Esther, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”(v. 2b)
Esther’s invitation to the king and Haman for a dinner to present her request to the king was with godly wisdom. It was a royal request and divine intervention because ordinarily, no one appears before the king without being invited. It was a serious offence with death penalty (Esther 4:11). Although she was initially afraid, Esther and her people prayed and fasted for favour in the sight of the king and their prayer was answered. The king broke a long standing tradition and willingly asked Esther to make her request known with the assurance of receiving even half of his kingdom. God’s arms are open to anyone who comes to Him. He has always given His children grace to make their petitions known to Him (Matthew 7:7; Philippians 4:6). He opens His doors to receive them and their request at any time. The children of God only owe Him a duty to live righteously.
1. Share a practical experience of divine intervention in a seemingly unjust situation.
2. How will you relate it to Esther’s situation in the lesson?
B. ESTHER’S REQUEST: [Esther 7:3-4]
Esther’s display of wisdom in presenting her request to God is amazing. Before this time, the king had provided opportunity for her to present her request with the assurance of granting it (Esther 5:1-3, 6; 7:2). According to the passage, Esther’s request was simple. In her response to the king she said, “If I have found favour with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life this is my petition. And spare my people this is my request.” (v. 3) Precisely, her petition to the king was to stop Haman’s plot to eliminate the Jews and then save her people. Esther was wise and humble in the presentation of her request to the king. She humbly pleaded for the favour of the king to spare her life, if it pleases him (meaning to spare her people from destruction). Her wisdom is seen in her approach to invite the king twice to a banquet. Having satisfied the appetite of the king, she then made her request known. The favour she received from the king is the result of divine intervention in the affairs of the people of God who needed justice. Just like the case of Esther, God still intervenes in the affairs of His children, especially at the point when justice is needed. Therefore, Christians should be encouraged to rise and seek justice whenever it is necessary. After prayers, we should boldly take a step of faith and act, knowing that God is concerned about our well-being.
1. Discuss the role of wisdom in Esther’s request for justice for her people. At what stage do you think Esther displayed this wisdom?
2. Discuss the roles believers should play in ensuring the prevalence of justice in the face of injustice.
C. THE DEATH OF HAMAN: [Esther 7:5-10]
The death of Haman was the final outcome of Esther’s prayer for divine intervention in the plot to destroy the Jews in Susa. After Esther made her request known to the king, he became furious that Haman attempted to execute the Jews; probably including Esther, his queen. The king left the banquet hall in fury and went into the palace garden but Haman waited and pleaded with Esther to save his life. When the king returned and saw Haman falling on the couch on which Esther laid, he exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” (v. 8b) Knowing the implication of the action of Haman, the servants of the king covered his face and waited for the king’s verdict. In verse 9, Harbona, one of the eunuchs attached to the king, revealed Haman’s gallows, which was seventy-five feet high; already built to hang Mordecai. Then the king ordered, “Hang him on it!” So they hung Haman on it, instead of Mordecai, and the fury of the king subsided. Consequently, Haman’s injustice was punished and justice prevailed for God’s people.
The story of Esther and the miraculous deliverance of the Jews from total extermination by Haman is attributed to the intervention of God after the prayer, fasting and the step of faith taken by Esther. She risked her life and was determined to be used of God as an instrument to rescue her people from being destroyed. God will not continually allow His people to suffer injustice without overruling. He rises to the challenges of His children; He fights their cause and ensures that justice prevails over injustice. This is an assurance to believers that God is not silent over the injustice they suffer. In due time, He will fight their battle and make sure justice prevails.
1. Did Haman deserve the punishment he received? Why did the king not forgive him since he humbled himself and begged Esther?
2. What does the punishment Haman received teach us about the practice of injustice?
• Pray that God will empower you not to take vengeance but to seek the justice of God.
• Lord, help me not to practise injustice because of the punishment it attracts.
• God, arise and deal with my enemies, in Jesus’ name.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
• Write a prayer expressing the hope of the triumph of justice over evil in our country.
• Jesus is God’s righteous servant who came to promote justice.
• Believers should seek to overcome their shortcomings by seeking to live righteously.
• The resurrection of Jesus is a sign of hope for justice.
• The suffering in this present time cannot be compared with the future hope.
• God still intervenes in the affairs of His children.
• God can use anybody to bring about justice for His people.
• Injustice will always end in shame for the perpetrator.
Remain Inspired and Be Lifted!