Posted by: genelnicholsblog | April 26, 2015

for such a time

It is one of my favorite accounts in Scripture.  Jealousy, revenge, bravery, conspiracy, royalty and of course, love — It sounds like the latest best-seller on the New York Times list.  The book of Esther in the Old Testament reads like a suspenseful novel; I find myself cursing the bad guy and cheering the good guys every time I read it.  And when the team asked me to write on another female character that we were studying this season, I had a hard decision on whom to focus my one page comments.  Each of the main players could easily have one entire blog written just on them.  The evil Haman, the noble Mordecai, the all-commanding King Xerxes, and of course the heroic Esther – each had their own story.  But with the first of two articles on this wonderful book, the choice was obvious that we had to talk about Esther.

Esther – Scripture tells us she was beautiful, an orphan, Jewish, and basically a slave in the Persian empire of King Xerxes.  Her uncle, Mordecai, took her into his home and raised her as his own daughter.  When the king ordered all the young virgins to be brought to him for an … uh … audition to become the next queen, Mordecai paced in front of the palace every day.

 Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known.  And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.
Esther 2:10

Mordecai had instructed Esther, a.k.a Hadassah (her Jewish name), not to reveal to anyone in the palace that she was a Jew.  Remember, this was not a voluntary thing for Esther; Scripture says, “many young women were brought to the (king).”  — the word “brought” is translated  by force.  Dads, can you imagine your young daughter being taken by the king?  No wonder Mordecai was pacing daily…

Esther is chosen by the King.  Out of all the virgins in the capital city, Esther is chosen.

The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther 2:17

Eventually, through a series of events involving Mordecai and the evil Haman, the king is tricked into signing an irreversible decree that on a certain future day, any and all Jews in the kingdom can be legally murdered!  Mordecai knows there is only one person who can save their people, and he pleads for Esther, the chosen queen, to have the courage to do what she must do with these immortal words:

Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.  For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:13

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS … Esther, chosen from all the women in the kingdom.  Esther, a secret Jew in the palace of the King.  Esther, an orphan slave, becomes the only hope for all the Jews in Persia.  She asks for prayer and fasting, then develops a life-threatening plan (her own life!) to get to the king with the truth.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS … Where has God placed you for such a time as this?  Who has God seated you beside for such a time?  Why were you paired with that person for such a time?  What does God want you to do in such a time as this?

Doing what God has for you takes bravery and courage sometimes.  Let us have the courage to ask the Lord, “Is this such a time?”

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