Remembering the book of Esther could win you some points in a game of Bible Trivia. It did for me.
Q: Name a book of the Bible that doesn’t mention God.
Fun fact, I guess. That little tidbit about the book of Esther resulted in lots of debates amongst kids when I was in youth group. It threw off one of my kids just now too… it even caused some across church history to question the inclusion of the book of Esther in the cannon of scripture. Fun fact for sure.
While the Book of Esther might win you some points in a trivia game and it is good material for a movie (Veggie Tales made a good video based on Esther)… there was something a little deeper that was on my mind tonight. This little book, tucked away in the Old Testament, where God is not mentioned, sure has a lot to speak to us today. For me, it hinges on this verse:
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
Oh, Esther! What a book… what a story… what a challenging message…
While I’m a big fan of the Veggie Tales movie: Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen. Well… we know that her story isn’t as glamorous as that title may imply. Esther’s family had ended up in Susa as they’d been carried away as captives from Jerusalem. This wasn’t a love story with the king. When the King chose Esther to be his new queen, she had no choice. In fact, Esther couldn’t approach him unless summoned for fear of her life. In chapter 4 Esther says she hadn’t seen the king in 30 days. To make matters worse, Haman, one of the highest officials hated the Jews and was looking to destroy them… of which Esther was one! What a desperate situation she faced as her cousin Mordecai petitioned her to go on behalf of her people before the King and plead for their lives.
And right in that “between a rock and a hard place” kind of moment, Mordecai says to Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” She resolves to go before the king, “if I perish, I perish.”
Such a tough story, huh? I’m guessing you know it all turns out: the King hears Esther, protects her people, punishes Haman, and the Jews are saved. But, if even just for a moment, we can remember what it was like to hear that story for the first time. To think of what it was like to have lived it, to stand in the face of such adversity… what it really meant for Mordecai to say: for such a time as this.
And, if we think really hard, we can imagine times in our lives that we’ve felt as desperate as Esther. Times I’m sure we never wanted to live to see… things we never intended to have to do… places we never imagined we’d be called to go…
and yet, what if you were called to that very spot for such a time as this?
I know what you might be thinking: Come on Jill! I’m nothing special. I have nothing to offer. There isn’t anything I can do against such opposition. The problem is bigger than I can possibly correct. This situation is more desperate that you can possibly imagine. Now you’re saying that maybe God’s divine purpose is that I would be there for such a time as this?
See, scripture… gosh it is so beautifully, perfect that God gives it to us as it speaks right to where we’re at… because that Esther, that girl who became queen wasn’t a powerhouse… she was one small person standing against the tide of evil. She risked her life knowing there was a chance she’d perish. What about that boy? The boy who gave his small lunch when Jesus asked and thousands were fed. Don’t forget the poor woman. The widow who gave her two small coins, all she had to the temple offering and Jesus knowing her sacrificial act and recognized her giant gift. Each of them were made for such a time as this.
What if you were made for such a time as this?
Friends, I don’t know what you are facing today or what troubles may come tomorrow. But I do know what it is to feel that you are less than worthy, that you can’t possibly make a difference… but we serve a God who doesn’t work only through the strong and mighty but through those who have less than imaginable, through those who seem anything but equipped, through the most unexpected of circumstances to accomplish more than we could ever expect.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 as God replied to his pleading to be released of his thorn and weakness, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
Friends, what if you were made for such a time as this? How would that impact how you lived and faced each day? What if you, like Mordecai, can see the purpose God has for someone in your life? How can you be there to encourage them in their God ordained moment?
God’s plans… don’t we know it?! We never could have imagined them. Honestly, might not have chosen these paths if it were up to us. But God’s plans are better than we ever could have imagined. What for such a time as this moments are you facing? How can I lift you in prayer and be there for you in whatever times you are facing?