The Question is: Are you here for such a time as this? - 26 July 2022

By Louise Gevers

As a child I loved listening to fairytales and would say wistfully, “I wish I’d been born at that time, to live in a castle, wear beautiful, long dresses and ride in a carriage. My mother, amused, would assure me that everyone is born at exactly the right time, leaving me to ponder this reality.

Mordecai suggested something similar in the case of his cousin. Esther wasn’t born in a castle but she’d been chosen out of many girls to become King Xerxes’ queen after he’d banished Queen Vashti from his presence forever, for defying his order. Esther was beautiful but she also had a fine character and, “The king liked [Esther] more than any of the other girls, and more than any of the others she won his favour and affection.” (Esther 2:17)

This was hardly the ideal way to become queen, yet it did put Esther in a valuable place to later save her people. Although God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, we remember that He looks at the heart and, “He controls the times and the seasons; he makes and unmakes kings; it is he who gives wisdom and understanding. He reveals things that are deep and secret…” (Daniel 2:21-22) As the tale unfolds, it becomes clear that God has paved the way for Esther and He is with her throughout.

Although Esther is young, she has, in Mordecai, an upright, God-fearing advisor, whose wisdom and advice she is able to trust, who cares about her and their fellow-Jews. When he reveals the plot of two officers to assassinate King Xerxes, she warns the king; and later, when Haman plots to kill Mordecai and his fellow-Jews, Esther courageously takes his advice to act seriously, even though, as queen, she feels powerless to do anything.

Mordecai’s message to her inspires her: “If you keep quiet at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family come to an end. Yet who knows – maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:14 Esther determined to put a plan in action to save her people that she realised could cost her her life if she did not find favour with the king; but she sought God’s favour first.

She ordered all the Jews of Susa to fast: “Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids 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 4:16) But Esther didn’t die.

The king holds out his golden sceptre and spares Esther, enabling her to save her people, and also see justice done as Haman is hanged on the gallows he’d prepared for Mordecai, for not bowing down to him.

Where are you at this time in history? No position is too high or too humble from which to save people from injustice, and promote healing, glorifying God. We live in challenging times that call for men, women and children to stand for God and what He’s calling them to do.

Were you made for such a time as this?

Prayer: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip us with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 12:20-21)