This past Tuesday, with our King of Kings Preschool kids during Vacation Bible School, we looked at the story of Queen Esther. Do you remember her? According to one source, she is the most mentioned woman in the Old Testament. It’s a fascinating story, well-worth the 10 minutes to read. An interesting fun fact is that the book of Esther never states God’s name directly. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t there; His involvement is felt in many ways throughout the story. It is clearly a story of God’s intervention and deliverance. Esther was a beautiful young lady, who found herself in a position of influence and power. But she is an unlikely heroine—a peasant girl, orphaned at a young age, and exiled from her homeland of Jerusalem. Perhaps the most familiar passage from this short Old Testament book is when her caregiver and older cousin, Mordecai, pleaded with her to use her newfound royal position to help her people and save her family. Mordecai informed Esther of the real threat and pending plan of annihilation to all her fellow Jews. He begged her to go before the king and plead for mercy for her people. But Esther knew that anyone who appeared before the king without being summoned would be put to death unless the king favored them. Mordecai called on Queen Esther to boldly fulfill her duty with these stirring words: "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) Esther accepted the mission and ultimately succeeded in saving her people. Because of her, what was supposed to be the day of the Jewish people's destruction, instead became the day of their deliverance. Our VBS kids looked at this story to help bring home the point, ‘Family and friends help us stand strong.’
When we consider the hardships of our friends and the tumultuous realities of loved ones and family members, could it be that God is whispering similar words to us? Perhaps we have been intentionally and divinely placed by God into these very moments to speak words of hope and deliverance. Had it not been for the support and strength of Mordecai or Esther, the people of Israel would have endured a horrible, undeserved extermination. Perhaps, in “such a time as this,” God is nudging us to be those that encourage and build others up. (1 Thess. 5:11) Like Esther, we live among hurting people in perilous times. As followers of Jesus, we look for ways in which we can be influential.
Esther is an inspiring story about a remarkable woman who was willing to risk her life to save her people. She was a woman of principle who was willing to put the lives of others ahead of even her own life. She is an outstanding example of serving others even under the most stressful circumstances. We, like Esther, have meaningful choices to make. We may not have as much power and influence as Esther the queen had; but God has still placed us where He wants us to be “for such a time as this.” We are not here by accident. We have a God-given circle of influence whether that be at work, at home, or at play. We cannot stand idly by while injustice occurs. We must pay attention to what’s happening around us and seek God’s direction in how He wants to use us. He has placed us in the time, the position, and the place He wants us to be. And He invites us to confidently join in His work. In Esther’s day, the duty to save a nation fell to her, and God had given her all she needed to accomplish the task. God has done the same for us, whatever the task He assigns, and He will use us in “such a time as this.”
“You are exactly where God wants you to be.”