As we arrived at Esther 8:1-9:19 on our journey through the Old Testament book of Esther, I struggled to understand how the events described in the chapters would be relevant to the congregation I pastor. After all, the chapters simply recount how Esther and Mordecai gave the Jews permission, with the king’s stamp of approval, to defend themselves and kill anyone who tried to carry out Haman’s plan of exterminating the Jews.

A sermon about “just war theory” from a Christian perspective might be interesting but not too relevant to the folks at Westside. These chapters certainly didn’t provide a pattern of how to deal with folks who are out to get us.

So, with a desire to honor the text but also show its relevance to my congregation, I asked the text a question: “Why are the Jews constantly having to defend themselves in the 3,500 years of their existence?”

As I asked that question of the text and pursued the answer in God’s Word, it took me on a fascinating journey this past week. The answer I found honored (I believe) the text and helped me to understand why our lives often feel like a battlefield … and how to be victorious in the struggle.

You can download my sermon notes by clicking this link: “Achieving Victory on the Battlefield” (Esther 8:1-9:19)

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