For Such a Time as This

Have you ever gotten somewhere and thought, “I have absolutely no idea how I got here”? I’ve done that while driving. Sometimes your mind just wanders to different subjects, and forty-five minutes later my brain somehow knew the navigation for every turn! Do you ever look at your life and ask yourself the same question? “How did I get here?”

Ever heard the story of Esther? Esther’s an orphan who was raised by her righteous cousin, Mordecai. When the king came looking for young women to possibly fill the role of his new queen, Esther made sure to jump into line. She wins favor with the people and eventually with the king himself, becoming queen. Moreover, Mordecai helps uncover a plot to kill the king, allowing Esther to warn him in time.

But all is not well in the king’s courts—treachery is afoot. When Mordecai refuses to bow down to the evil counselor Haman in the street, the evil, (probably) mustache-twisting counselor decides to engineer a plot to murder all the Jews in the Persian Empire. The plot basically involves Haman going to the king and saying, “I think we should kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire.” And the king says (to paraphrase him), “All right.”

Haman walks away, twisting his mustache some more (probably), glad that the king has agreed to his genocidal plans. The king doesn’t know that his own queen is Jewish, because Esther’s been keeping it secret. But the threat of the Jews’ imminent demise kicks Mordecai into action and he convinces her to talk to the king. Mordecai goes and wails outside the palace gates while wearing sackcloth, and Esther fasts for three days before visiting the king.

Esther is worried the king will execute her for visiting him unannounced, but—to the contrary—he is mellow and pleased. He offers to give her whatever she wants. She asks him to have a banquet for her and Haman the next day. Then, after that banquet, she asks for another one on the following day. Meanwhile, Haman is excited about the massacre that’s about to happen. He builds a huge gallows to hang Mordecai and his precious Jewish people.

But his hopes are dashed the following morning, when the king—remembering how Mordecai saved his life—orders Haman to honor Mordecai and lead him in a parade through the town (which Haman very reluctantly does). At the second banquet, Esther asks the king to punish Haman for trying to kill her and her people—and the king does. Haman is hanged to death on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai (ironic, indeed). Mordecai is made into the king’s new counselor.

Although we know the story’s ending, Esther was very nervous about possibly being killed by her husband for coming to him unannounced (imagine the uproar if this was modern day). Mordecai says to the current queen, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Like Esther, sometimes we are doubtful of the road ahead of us and are not sure how we got where we are or what we are doing. Luckily for us, we serve a God who knows all and plans everything perfectly. He knew exactly why Esther was the unlikely queen and used her for His larger purpose. He knows precisely why you are where you are and has a greater plan for you as well (Isaiah 55:9)! He has created you for such a time as this.


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