24 Feb Such a Time as This
We’re reading the Bible in one year with our Bible study in 2020 and it has been an amazing challenge so far. Have you ever wanted to read the entire Bible, cover to cover? What’s stopping you from giving it a try? It’s size? Yes, it’s big… Hard to read? Yes, sometimes the Bible can be difficult to understand – and even… dare I say it… boring at times. Ever been bored reading the Bible? Flip it open to Esther – I promise you will be entertained. Let me summarize it for you.
The book of Esther takes place in Persia under the rule of King Xerxes – who was a bad dude, y’all. King Xerxes is looking for a queen, so he decides to host a beauty pageant, rounding up the most beautiful women in all the land, put them all inside a house and then, after one-on-one dates with each of them, he picks a Queen.
Sounds like Monday nights a 8/7 central on ABC, am I right?
Except no part of this story is glamorous… the women in the house, even the queen, have no rights. Nonetheless, he picks a queen, and that woman is Esther. Now, Esther doesn’t tell anyone that she’s an Israelite at the advice of her cousin, Mordecai, and even though she’s won and is technically the queen, she must now live the rest of her life in the “Bachelor Mansion”, only leaving when she’s been summoned by the king. In fact, approaching the king without having been summoned was a crime punishable by death, so you can imagine Esther’s despair when she finds out that a decree has been signed that allows for the genocide of the Jewish people living in Persia at the time.
What’s even worse? Her cousin asks her to do something about it. I imagine Esther – the fear had to be crippling – “are thousands of my people going to die? Will it be my fault? Will I die with them?” I’m sure she imagined the families – mothers and young children who would soon lose their lives. They were God’s people, so why would it fall upon her shoulders to save them? How could she, a woman with no rights, living in a harem, play a part in the deliverance of a nation?
Now, I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but her bravery, along with a series of events – really, go read the book – saved the lives of thousands. A nation was delivered as a direct result of her courage.
Even though we know how it ends, I want to go back to one, particular moment in this story – the moment when Esther is considering the heaviness of the decision ahead of her. In the midst of her dread, her cousin, Mordecai, said something so incredible to her…
“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”” – Esther 4:12-16
When Queen Esther was faced with the decision whether or not to approach the king in an effort to save her people from genocide, an act that could lead to her execution, her cousin, Mordecai suggested something that changed the way I live today. He said, redemption will come for Israel no matter what – if you’re not brave, someone else will be… “perhaps you were born for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). What if we all thought of life that way?
Perhaps I was put on this earth in the exact right place and time to do something amazing.
Perhaps you were, too, sister.
What if we stopped looking at life as something we just do – some motions we just go through – and think “maybe I was born to do something that changes the lives of others in my generation.” Imagine how that would change how we view our roles as employees, students, friends, daughters, wives, mothers…
Here’s the deal – His will is going to be accomplished no matter what. But we can choose to be a part of the story or just watch it happen apart from us. Whether or not we play a role requires a decision on our parts. What does that require?
Courage. Faith. Love.
God has big things to do. Will you step into faithfulness and out of fear and be a part of what He’s doing?