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,