These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Esther 5: The Heart of the Matter

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Esther.

My schoolteacher husband came home one day from work with an unpleasant note from a parent. The note expressed anger and concern over his performance as a teacher. In the face of a situation that could have led my husband to bitterness I watched him respond with courage, compassion and humility as he made an appointment to meet with the parent the next day. Because of his response, the misunderstanding was clarified and the relationship was reconciled.

Our character comes through especially in times where we are facing a difficult task or situations or people that anger us. Our response to these kinds of occurrences in our life tells a great deal about our character. Do we face them with courage and humility or with anger, bitterness and pride? In their contrasting responses Esther and Haman show the condition of their hearts.

Warming Up to God

What example comes to mind when you think of a person acting with courage or humility?

Read Esther 5

Discovering the Word

  • What risks does Esther take in verses 1-8?
  • The second time the king asks Esther to make her request known, she answers him. What do her words reveal about her character (vv. 7-8)?
  • What characteristics do we see in Haman (vv. 9-14)?
  • Haman boasts about having everything: sons, wealth, position and recognition. Why do you think Haman is still so consumed with Mordecai?
  • How does the passage contrast Esther's character and Haman's character?

Applying the Word

  • Where in your own life do you see the qualities of Esther, and where do you see the qualities of Haman?
  • In what current situation can you try to respond with the courage and humility of Esther?
  • Esther 4:15-16 tells us how Esther was supported by the Jewish people. How could the support of other believers be helpful to you in the midst of a trial you are going through now?

Responding in Prayer

Pray that God will be molding you into a person of character who responds out of humility rather than pride.