1. When a disaster occurs, how do people react? Why is it sometimes difficult to see God’s presence in the midst of crisis?
2. Mordecai and Esther were forced to adapt to a foreign culture. How can it be helpful for Christians to understand our culture as we seek to be God’s presence in the world and messengers of His grace?
3. How would you describe Haman? What wisdom would you give to believers who are forced to work or live around a person like Haman?
4. What characteristics marked the life and behavior of Mordecai? How can we strive for similar positive characteristics?
5. Throughout this chapter, what strikes you about Esther’s character, how she related to people, and the risks she took? What can we learn from her?
6. Eventually, a great and radical reversal happened between Haman and Mordecai (Esther 5-7; The Story, pp. 282-285). How do you see God’s hand at work in bringing His Upper Story plan into the Lower Story of Haman’s plots and schemes?
7. Can you give examples of seemingly hopeless situations that God miraculously turned around?
8. In one of The Story’s epic moments, Esther resolved in her heart to approach the king, reveal her nationality, and make an appeal for her people – despite the risk involved. What risks are Christians today asked to make?
9. A lesson from Esther’s story is that God is going to accomplish His Upper Story with us or without us (Esther 4:12-14; The Story, p. 282). What does this lesson mean for us as we seek to align our Lower Story with God’s Upper Story?
10. At the end of this chapter, we read that God did not remove the danger of attack on the Jews, but provided a chance for them to fight back and defend themselves. What battles might God be calling on Christians to fight today?