The small group (Got Teens?!) of moms that I lead, through my church, is wrapping up a study on Esther. It has been a wonderful first semester of small group!! I think we all have learned something from the book of Esther and from the study book.
We meet every other week in my home. There are currently 7 of us and we are all friends. Two of the moms are new to us this school year. I chose Esther, because as moms of teens and young adults (all of us but 2, have children in college) we need all the wisdom we can get! The book of Esther, found in the Old Testament, is packed with the wisdom of God, even though God is never mentioned! He gave Esther much wisdom as she waited on Him, and we can use the principles today in our lives as wives, moms, friends, neighbors, church and community workers. We will gain wisdom if we wait on the Lord like Esther did and if our lives are joined up with His plans and purposes.
This study is divided into 8 lessons so we took 8 weeks to do the book. We started in September and took a couple weeks off during the holiday season. Lesson 8, the final chapter, will be discussed next week. I just finished the chapter today so will prepare my notes this week.
Each lesson opens with a little anecdote by the author. The actual study is from the Fisherman Bible Study Guides and is a part of the Women of the Word series. Each lesson goes along with each chapter in Esther with a couple of the lessons requiring 2 chapters for that week. (there are 10 chapters in the book of Esther).
Each lesson has discussion questions with about 10-12 questions per week. It is not a difficult study at all, but there is a lot of depth to it.
Some of the questions are based on the Scriptures for that week, right from the book of Esther and several of the questions are more introspective and personal.
Some of the questions are personal and some of the moms weren't comfortable sharing their answers in the group which is always okay. We are a safe group meaning that what we discuss and/or pray about in the group, stays in the group. Many of the questions were for personal reflection and some of us shared our thoughts. Much discussion centered around the culture of that time yet the principles can be ours today.
This is a great Bible study for a small group but a person could also do it on her own if desired. It doesn't take long each week to read the chapters in the Bible and to answer the questions. I did find that I had to turn to online commentaries to lead the discussions so I did have to do a lot of prep. There is a leaders guide in the back but it didn't cover every question. Most of the questions can be answered based on the Scriptures BUT there were several questions where one needs to know the culture of that time. I used my NIV Study Bible for most of the study and I also added notes from my Soul Care Bible (NKJV) especially for the last 2 lessons.
I highly recommend this study if you are looking to learn more about Esther and if you desire to go deeper with God on the topic of Wisdom.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 21 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.