2003-05-22 - For Such a Time as This
- Originally Published 1997-05-08
It is often easy for us to read too much into a situation. It is
equally easy to miss God's hand right in front of your face working in
your, or my, life. Being at peace with God, not struggling or chaffing
against the yoke He has made for you will help make you more aware of
the still small voice of the Spirit speaking to you, or me.
Esth 4:13-17 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Do not
imagine that you in the king's palace can escape any more than all the
Jews. "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance
will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's
house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty
for such a time as this?" Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,
"Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do
not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also
will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is
not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish." So Mordecai went
away and did just as Esther had commanded him. (NAS)
Esther is Queen of the Empire. She had been taken from the home of her
Uncle Modecai as a young lady to the court of the King. She had cried
and lamented, and wondered why God had abandoned her. Slowly, God must
have shown her that she was not alone. She found favor with the man in
charge of preparing the ladies to meet the King. He orchestrated
things for her, with God holding the strings to be sure. And then she
finally met this heathen King, and found him to be interesting, if not
charming. She was invited back, and 'found favor with the King'. In
other words, he fell in love with her, and she with him. It was
probably the last thing that she expected. Then Haman's wretched plan
to destroy the nation of Israel was put into action, and Esther found
herself paralyzed with confusion and fear. It was then that her Uncle
once again came with a dose of reality to shake her from her inaction.
We need friends like this, who are willing to get in our faces and
rattle us when it needs to be done. Modecai saw the hand of God in the
life of Esther when he uttered, "And who knows whether you have not
attained royalty for such a time as this?" God holds individuals and
nations in His hands. He moves them carefully so that those who are
watching can see His hand at work.
Esth 5:1-3 Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on
her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace in
front of the king's rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal
throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace. And it
happened when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she
obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the
golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched
the top of the scepter. Then the king said to her, "What is troubling
you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the
kingdom it will be given to you." (NAS)
It is not unthinkable that Esther had not seen the King for some time.
She may have even wondered if she had fallen out of favor with him. To
enter the Throne Room unbidden was to literally invite death. Esther
had asked for prayer and fasting to prepare for the moment when the
doors to the Throne Room opened and she walked through the door. She
knelt as soon as she was clear of the doorway and waited for the
response from the King. When the King extended the scepter, he had
spared her life. His response was very tender. He may have felt badly
that he had not shown her enough attention lately with all the duties
of running the kingdom. He was willing to grant her request up to half
of his kingdom. This would have literally made this woman his equal.
To say that she had found favor with the king would be to say that the
Atlantic Ocean is a lot of water.
The rest of the story is a set of twisting ironies that end up with
Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Mordecai was
remembered by the King who was trying to be bored to sleep by having
the King's Chronicles read to him. Esther's nationality had remained
unknown to both the King and Haman, until the telling moment when
Haman was undone in his own jealousy while expecting to be promoted in
political power. But the hand of God is seen over and over again as
the exiled nation of Israel is saved when there was no human recourse.
I have seen in Biblical stories, my own life and even the news, how
God allows all other resources to be exhausted, that then He quietly
steps in to direct the course of a individual or a nation. In those
times, only He can lay claim to the honor and glory of the moment.
Are you struggling today? Caught in between a rock and a hard place?
Stop, take a breath and look around. Look for the hand of God leading
you and orchestrating the events around you. Who knows, but that you
have been lead to right where you are, for such a time as this.
Lord Jesus, Please give us eyes to see and ears to hear the things you
have for us to do and to hear. We know that you are ultimately in
control. Even in the middle of a struggle, You are teaching us things
to share with others on the other side of the trouble. Guard our
hearts and minds. Amen.
Grace & Peace,