C.A.C Sunday School Manual For May 2 and 9, 2021, Lesson Eight : Topic – GOD IN PERSIA
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: GOD IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF MAN (II)
(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
Unit Two : Gentile Administration In The Exile And Post-exilic Periods
Date : May 2 & 9, 2021
Lesson : EIGHT
TOPIC : GOD IN PERSIA
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done”
It is God in action for Esther, a Jewess and orphan, to become queen in Persia, and to find the king’s favour in the oddest of times for the sake of God’s people in the land. He cannot fall!
God is never caught unawares about any event that takes place in the kingdom of men. God, who reigns in the Jewish kingdom is the same God who manifested in the land of Persia and Jerusalem, alike. He remains unchallengeable while He continues to change things to suit His eternal purpose and programme. God unquestionably brought low (dethroned) Queen Vashti in order to lift up (enthrone) Esther, in fulfillment of His eternal plan and for the glory of His name.
In the same vein, our God who has the power and might to control and direct the heart of men, caused Nehemiah to gain favour in the sight of a gentile king. As a slave in a strange land, he was not alone, as God’s presence abode with him, even to the time when the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt and all materials needed were freely supplied to the glory of God alone. God is Omnipresence and Omniscient who directs the affairs of men as the Chief Administration. Nehemiah’s commitment and dedication helped him.
God has never and will never consult any commitment for whatever plan He decides to carryout amidst His Creatures. He knows and understands our final destination, even right from the beginning. Don’t under-estimate the power of God in your undertakings, so as not to fumble and fall gallantly.
Devotional Bible Readings For Week One
Mon. Apr. 26: God Makes Nebuchadnezzar Great (Dan. 4:10-12)
Tue. Apr. 27: God Will Punish Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride (Dan. 4:13-17)
Wed. Apr. 28: God Interprets The Dream Through Daniel (Dan. 4:26,27)
Thur. Apr. 29: God Advises Nebuchadnezzar Through Daniel (Dan. 4:28-33)
Fri. Apr. 30: God Humiliates The Proud Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:28-33)
Sat. May. 1: God Sovereignly Restores Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:34-36)
1. When a man becomes great and is given opportunities, God is involved
2. In every situation, God is never left out as He is the One directing every affair of men, either directly or indirectly.
3. God rules, both in the kingdom of believers and unbelievers alike, just to attain His redemptive purpose, and for the manifestation of His glory.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: Psalm 105:13-38
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show that God is the One directing the affairs and kingdom of men, either directly or otherwise. He reigns in all situations.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, the readers should be able to:
i. identify God’s manifestation in every situation they find themselves on earth;
ii. see God directing the affairs and kingdom of man;
iii. realise that God only allows those whom He has chosen to rule and to dethrone defaulters; and
iv. learn to be humble in any position they find themselves and allow God to take charge.
TEXTUAL SOURCES: ESTHER 1-8; NEHEMIAH 2
This is the last lesson in this unit, the either in this series. Lesson 7 discussed the call of Cyrus, the gentile king, who despite not knowing the Lord, was called from birth to be the one who would release God’s people from exile. Unknown to him, God had called him by name and commissioned him before his birth. When he eventually got to the throne, he gave a decree to liberate God’s people, though without actually knowing God who have stirred him to act (Ezra 1,2).
Lesson 8 is premised on how God dethroned the proud Vashti and enthroned Esther, the Jewess, as queen in her place. It further discusses how God granted Nehemiah favour in the sight of the king who granted him permission to return to Judah and rebuild the dilapidated Jerusalem wall. God will also be teaching us some powerful lessons from how He defended His people from the plot of Haman who wanted to destroy the whole Jewish race because he thought Mordecai was proud to him. God made Mordecai to find the favour of the king, promoted him in Haman’s stead, liberated his people, and caused Haman to be hanged with all his children.
INSTRUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson has two divisions, I and II. Each division is further divided into A and B.
DIVISION I: DETHRONES THE PROUD VASHTI
Of course, our God is a righteous judges who can neither ignore nor condone sin (Prov. 15:5, 11:20). If Hs did, He would not be described as the Holy and just God as stated in the scriptures. Queen Vashti was dethroned, due to her pride and arrogance, but all her actions and disobedience to her husband, the king, are well known to God because, He was never caught unawares by man’s behaviour. He told Jeremiah I knew you right from your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Man must be conscious of God in whatever position he finds himself. Remember you are in any position for a purpose known to God who placed you there. If you err, you will pay dearly for it.
DIVISION II: ENTHRONES THE JEWESS ESHTER
Man cannot receive anything except it is given from above says the scriptures (John 3:27). God chose to enthrone Esther, a Jewess, to become a queen in a strange land of Persia. This, He did so as to work towards the deliverance of His people who were in captivity. Thank God for Esther’s commitment, dedication and obedience which triggered God’s favour and uncommon grace in her life and entire Jews in the land of Persia? Position yourself today for God’s manifestation in your conditions and situations.
I. MODERATES CHANGING A QUEEN
A. DETHRONES THE PROUD VASHTI
B. ENTHRONES THE JEWESS ESTHER
II. MOVES THE PERSIANS KING PURPOSEFULLY
A. TO FAVOUR NEHEMIAH
B. TO DEFEND HIS PEOPLE.
I. MODERATES CHANGING A QUEEN (Esther 1-2)
Only God has the power and authority to enthrone whoever He wishes. Likewise, He dethrones anyone who falters and fumbles. Since God is the one that moderates the human government and kingdom, nothing comes to existence without His divine endorsement.
A. DETHRONES THE PROUD VASHTI (1:1-18)
If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more
before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she (v. 19).
i. The Gentile king had been influenced by drunkenness and proud spirit to ask the Queen to come and flaunt her beauty publicly. God allowed this without being the cause. Why? Esther must be on the throne for a divine purpose.
ii. v. 12: Because God had something in mind to fulfil for His people in the Persian kingdom, He allowed the hardening of the heart of Queen Vashti to refuse to honour the king’s order, and thus incur the royal wrath. All of these were leading towards God’s purpose (cf. Ex. 9:12).
iii. vv. 13-18: Furthermore, the king’s counsellors advised him against retaining Vashti as the queen, but instead launch a search for another queen. God had it in mind to infuse one of His people, a godly, well-nurtured virgin, into the Persian palace to accomplish God’s eternal redemptive purpose.
iv. This great and awesome God sits on the throne of heaven, and from there, does whatsoever pleases Him amongst the sons of man, Jews and gentiles alike, regardless of whether they are Christians or not (Ps. 115:3).
v. God who knew the plan of the wicked Haman and the situation of His people, the Jews, in the land of Persia, created a vacant position in the palace for the redemption and deliverance of His people.
vi. God, the Omnipresent and Omniscience, was seen behind the suggestion of Memucan’s counsel.
B. ENTHRONES THE JEWESS ESTHER (2:1-19)
The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti (v. 17).
i. vv. 1-4: The king and his council had orchestrated a beauty contest to pick a winner who would become the king’s new queen. He had prepared His beloved Esther for this. Can God trust you in, and for similar situations?
ii. vv. 5-8: God had prepared Esther for this through her uncle, Mordecai, who adopted her when her parents died. God started all this purposively.
iii. v. 9: God had also inspired Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the women to favour Esther, because she pleased him with her display of godly virtue.
iv. vv. 15-19: With God at the helm of affairs, and with the help of Hegai, Esther delighted the king and became his new queen. The king even gave a banquet in celebration of Esther, his new queen.
v. We must know that even in our difficult situations, God is preparing us for the future in line with His unstoppable eternal purpose.
vi. You may be called by God like Esther to stand for Him as a strategic part of His divine plan; therefore, do everything possible to make yourself qualified and available.
vii. Esther’s obedience, humbleness, dedicated and gentleness opened door for her to play a part in God’s divine plans.
1. We should learn to be humble in whatever position God has placed us.
2. In any situation you find yourself, don’t be discouraged; God is in control and things will turn out for your good, if you trust Him totally.
WORK TO DO
Whatever situation you are passing through, if God is with you, you will laugh at last. Discuss.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
i. In whatever situation, there is no doubt on the fact that God is in all situations.
ii. One thing is sure, when God is in charge, He will give us peace of mind.
iii. When we are faithful to our Maker and Creator, we can rest assured of His direction, be strong and of good courage, for He will never leave His children dancing without hope.
iv. Be a genuine Christian, truly born again (Jn. 3:3-5).
v. Allow God’s will and way in your situations.
vi. Yes, one with God is majority; all things work together for good to those who love God. Remain focused on Jesus in stormy time. He will see you through.
vii. God’s children will never be put to shame as God is ever committed to the committed.
viii. If God’s grace and favour is working for you, don’t see it as a right but privilege to show forth God’s goodness and glory.