For Such A Time As This.
“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14 NLT
Through a series of strange, yet sovereign circumstances, Esther, the young Jewish girl, has become queen of one the most powerful nations in the world. What could easily appear as luck or fate was actually the hand of Almighty God. This dramatic change in the circumstances of this young woman’s life had not just happened, but had been orchestrated by God. As you read the account of Esther, you can’t help but be reminded that God is always working behind the scenes in ways that we often overlook or simply cannot see. As Esther was adapting herself to her new role as Queen, her uncle Mordecai was performing his new job on the royal payroll as a gatekeeper. Both of these people were now in positions where God was going to use them to do something incredibly significant for Him.
After learning that Haman had convinced the king to issue a royal decree to have all the Jews living in the land summarily executed on the same day, Mordecai went into a time of mourning and fasting. As the news spread across the nation, mourning broke out among the people of God. This was devastating news and they were powerless to stop it. Mordecai’s mourning and presence just outside the palace gates seemed to have been an embarrassment to Esther. The king was still unaware of her Jewish heritage and I am sure she feared that Mordecai’s presence and the appearance of her uncle walking around in burlap just outside the palace gates was going to let her secret out of the bag. So she sent Mordecai a change of clothes in the hopes that he might break his fast and stop his mourning. But he refused. Instead, he asked her to go before the king and beg for mercy for the people of Israel. This posed two serious problems for Esther. First, she would have to admit to being a Jew. This was a huge risk for her. She would also have to come before the king uninvited, which could end in her death. But Mordecai sent her a sobering message and a reminder: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed” (Esther 4:13 NLT). Her position as queen would not guarantee her safety once the decree went into affect. The law required that every single Hebrew man, woman and child would be killed on the same day – no questions asked, no mercy given Mordecai went on to remind Esther that if she chose to remain silent and do nothing, God would simply raise up someone else to do His will. Mordecai knew that her refusal to get involved would not prevent God from rescuing His people, but he also seemed to know that God had placed her where she was for a reason. He believed she had a divine appointment, a God-given responsibility to use her new position as queen to intercede on behalf of the people of God. He told her, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b NLT).
There is a certain sense in which Mordecai or Esther could not know conclusively if God had placed Esther in her role as queen specifically for the purpose of saving the people of Israel. God had not spoken to either one of them. Mordecai had not received a direct word from God. But Mordecai knew that it would be wrong for her to refuse to use her position as queen on behalf of the people. She had to do what she could do. She was uniquely positioned to make a potentially life-saving impact on an entire nation. Mordecai seemed to understand that our existence here on this planet is not just to seek our own self-interest and to preserve our own safety and security. God had us here for a greater purpose. He wants to use us for His purposes. He wants us to make a difference in the world in which we live. Esther could have just refused to do anything and just let someone else do something about this problem. She could have just assumed that God would use someone else – someone better qualified and better suited to be a savior. But Mordecai convinced her that she couldn’t sit back and do nothing. She had to act, even at great risk to her own life. Her final words to Mordecai reveal her determination to do whatever she had to do to make a difference. “And then, though is is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die” (Esther 4:16b NLT).
Have you ever stopped to think about why you are here on this planet? Do you ever consider that there might be a more significant reason you live where you live, work where you work, are married to whom you are married, and have the children you do? Is there a chance that God has positioned you for something greater than simply making a living? Who knows if perhaps you are here for just such a time as this?
Father, give us an eternal perspective. Give us the ability to see the bigger picture and not just focus on our everyday roles. Never let us think that we are here just for our own satisfaction. You have bigger plans in store. You want to use us to make a difference in this world. Give us boldness and a willingness to be used by You, even if it is risky and we don’t feel qualified. You have placed us right where we are for reasons that we might not know right now. Help us to see what You see and do what You have uniquely positioned us to do. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men