St. Paul wrote to the church at Rome words that speak to all the Church through the ages: "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope."
It is to that concept, that the Word of God brings encouragement to the heart of those who will believe its message, this blog is devoted.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
For Such a Time As This
And who knows whether you have not
attained royalty for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
The Jews were
in trouble. For decades after their capture and exile to Babylon in the 5th
century BC, they lived in relative peace with their Babylonian – and later
their Persian – neighbors.
chief officer in the court of Ahasuerus – also known as Xerxes – developed a
vendetta against Mordecai the Jew. But instead of executing only one man, Haman
decided to destroy Mordecai and every other Jew scattered across the Persian
empire. So he smooth-talked Xerxes to order their annihilation and take their homes
and possessions as plunder.
did not know (nor, by the way, did the king) -- what Haman did not know was that Xerxes’ queen – her name was Esther –
was a Jewess. Nor did Haman know Mordecai was like a father to Esther.
If it’s been
a while since you’ve read the book of Esther in the Old Testament, I recommend
investing the 20 minutes or so it will take to read the 12 short chapters.
impending disaster to her people, Esther was terrified about barging uninvited
into the king’s throne-room to plead for them. In the Persian culture of the
day, doing so could mean her death – even if she was the queen. And that is
when Mordecai said to her “Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for
such a time as this?”
The story of
Esther and Mordecai is more than a historical account of God’s intervention in
the lives of His people. It holds rich encouragement for you and me in the 21st
century. What do any of us have that we have not been given to use for our King?
What position or station in life have any of us attained that has not
ultimately come from God to be used for His glory?
warehouse clerk, sanitation worker or high school teacher, homemaker or
physician, white collar employee or blue collar, unemployed, employed, or
underemployed – wherever we interact with others, we are each today where God
has placed us “for such a time as this.”
Today is a
time like few others wherein people across our towns and cities struggle with a
plethora of burdens. Some suffer under crushing financial weight. Some, devastating illnesses.
Some endure abject loneliness; some, bitter despair; some, powerful addictions, and others a host
of destructive sins from which they cannot free themselves, despite how they
hunger for freedom.
As I write
these words my thoughts carry me to a poem written by St. Teresa of Avila in the
no body but yours,
No hands, no
feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world.
Mordecai, the Holy Spirit encouraged a fearful Esther to use her position to make
a difference in the lives of her people. Likewise, through the words of
Scripture, the Holy Spirit encourages us to use whatever position and situation
in which we find ourselves to make a difference in the lives of those around
Oh, Lord, help us not be so focused on
our fears or our own problems that we miss the privilege and the purpose to
which you have called us – for such a time as this.