It is the stuff of great storytelling: two lives woven together in a sweeping tale of geopolitical suspense and intrigue, heroes and villains, life-and-death drama, shocking plot twists, and even a beauty contest. I LOVE a good story, and we have a real nail-biter recorded for us in the Book of Esther, a true story of inspiration preserved for generations to come.
Although much of the Jewish population had made the pilgrimage back to the promised land of Canaan, Mordecai, a God-fearing Jewish man, had chosen to remain an exile in the Persian Empire. He was an ordinary man, holding a low-level position in the court of King Ahasuerus, devoting his energy to raising and protecting his young, orphaned cousin, Esther. Through an amazing chain of events that could only be orchestrated by God, including a nation-wide beauty pageant, Esther is selected Queen of Persia, replacing the banished Queen Vashti. This lowly, Jewish orphan has been elevated to a position of influence and power, her Jewish heritage a secret from everyone except her uncle. Amazing! Only God could pull off such a feat. Esther must have been stunning to look upon, but more importantly, her godliness and devotion to God made her beautiful on the inside, too.
The plot thickens. Enter the egomaniacal, high-ranking Agagite, Haman, who was overflowing with pride and reeking with hatred for Mordecai. How dare this lowly Jew refuse to bow in my presence? mused prideful Haman. But Mordecai would stand firm, refusing to bow to anyone apart from the true God of Israel. In his frustration and hatred, Haman contrives a diabolical plan to exterminate all the Jews, including Mordecai, from the kingdom of Persia. He slyly tricks the unwitting King Ahasuerus into signing a death warrant for the entire Jewish population, Haman would simply wipe out all of those pesky Jews, including Mordecai. But unbeknownst to Haman and Ahasuerus, Esther is one of those Jews whose life would be snuffed out under this evil decree. When word reaches her of this evil plan, Esther is tempted by fear to remain silent, to keep her Jewish heritage a secret. She had to be thinking, I will just be still, no one knows that I am a Jew. But her long-time guardian reminds his precious niece that God has strategically placed her at this critical junction not by accident, but by divine appointment, “…for such a time as this.” God knew of the decree well in advance and had placed His child in a position to be used of Him. She humbly sends her response to her uncle, “…if I perish, I perish.” That’s not the fatalistic cry of fearful woman surrendering to death, but the faith-inspired statement of a woman of faith who would place her fate in the hands of a mighty God.
As God opens doors of opportunity in our lives, perhaps in the workplace, at home, at school, or while shopping at the local Walmart, we hold the responsibility of walking by faith through that door and allowing Him to use us. He directs our seemingly mundane path daily; He has strategically placed US in that specific situation for “such a time as this,” and as we submit to Him, He works out all things “according to the counsel of his will.” Who will God place in YOUR path today? Be courageous! Step out in faith when those divine opportunities avail themselves, YOU are His vessel, there for “such a time as this.” Someone’s eternal fate may be hanging in the balance.
Esther 6:14 …and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
TAKE SOME TIME THIS WEEK TO READ THE ENTIRE BOOK OF ESTHER; MEDITATE ON THAT AMAZING STORY, AND ACCEPT IT AS AN AWESOME CHALLENGE TO YOU!<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-489-62bbf78ccbacc' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=489&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-489-62bbf78ccbacc' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-489-62bbf78ccbacc' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>