She was in the right place, at the right time, saying the right words to the right man. Queen Esther’s people, the Jews, were in trouble as an evil plot was being devised to destroy them. Her husband, King Xerxes, adored Esther, and when she approached him with a simple request, he extended his golden scepter and listened intently to her. Curious as to what she wanted from him, he offered to grant her up to half the kingdom—he loved and esteemed her that highly. Little did he know that Queen Esther was on a God-ordained mission to save the Jewish people from mass murder at the hands of a very wicked man named Haman, an official in the empire and an enemy of the Jews. This fascinating story is found in the book of Esther 3-10.
Esther was a Jew, but she withheld that information from King Xerxes. We’ll never know if that little secret had anything to do with her ability to captivate the king’s heart, but regardless, his favor was on her, and for that reason, every Jewish person in King Xerxes’ kingdom lived, despite the evil and treachery targeted against them. The words of her cousin, Mordecai, a Jew who had raised her, were God-ordained, too, and proved to be words of encouragement and direction for Queen Esther, as she prayed and fasted for her people while living in the King’s palace. Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: "Don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14 NLT). Within days, Esther’s wise requests resulted in the exposing of Haman’s evil plan against the Jews, and the torture he had prepared for Mordecai and the Jews was instead used against him and his family.
Some call it serendipity or coincidence when circumstances line up perfectly and a positive outcome occurs for something we could not have orchestrated ourselves. Our God is not a god of chance. From before time, He had a carefully thought-out plan to make a world, create man, provide eternal salvation, and govern and rule His people and Kingdom. For you and me, for Queen Esther, for all people, God’s word says, You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed, (Psalm 139:15-16 NLT).
We’re living today because God intended from before time, that you and I would be here for such a time as this. Our prayers, our voice, our actions, our Christian testimonies can be every bit as powerful and effective as Queen Esther’s were! As the favor of King Xerxes was on Esther, so the favor of our King Jesus is on us as we seek to please Him and heed His voice!
We do not have the immediate threat of torture and death chasing us, although in many places of the world Christians do. However, as Mordecai warned if you keep quiet at a time like this… the results could be regrettable or even tragic. Pay attention to the gentle or not-so-gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, who will lead you into all truth (John 16:13). When we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit does. Sometimes His guidance comes to us in a thought or impression regarding how to pray or what direction to take. It’s great to have a godly Mordecai in your life to offer encouragement and direction, but the Lord challenges us to spend time with Him and hear His still small voice leading us.
The Apostle Paul makes an astounding statement of courage and purpose in Acts 20:22-24 (NLT): "And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don't know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
Wow. Just as Queen Esther knew she could have been killed for exposing Haman’s plot, the Apostle Paul knew his words and actions for Christ would cost him dearly. They both embraced living for such a time as this. Can we? Lord, help us realize our individual purpose for living right here, right now, for such a time as this.
© 2021, Chris Werre