When Esther’s words were relayed to Mordecai, he sent back to her this reply: “Do not imagine that because you are in the king’s palace you alone will escape the fate of all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows if perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:12-14 BSB
The book of Esther takes place during the time of King Xerxes, aka King Ahasuerus, who ruled Persia from 486-465 BC. Esther tells the story of a beautiful Jewish girl, Esther, whom the King chooses to be a ‘replacement’ queen to one that disrespected him, Queen Vashti. When Haman plotted to murder ALL the Jews, Esther’s Uncle, who was more like a father- Mordechai, persuaded Esther to use her newfound position as Queen to save her\his people. She had to risk approaching the king, without being summoned- which was punishable by death- to appeal to the King to save her people from the evil plan of Haman. There are many well-known verses in this book and many lessons to be learned. Let’s consider 7 lessons to be learned. The 1st is the most famous, the one we targeted in today’s post, Esther 4:12-14. ‘For Such a Time as this’, is synonymous with the book of Esther. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) The situation you are in, might be for a different purpose than you realize. “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure ” (Philippians 2:13). God’s Plan for your life, is to be THE PLAN for your life. The 2nd lesson is the first we should have seen. In the 1st Chapter, v 17-20 reminds us that Leadership is a LOOP. As leaders we must flex our P E C’s. Leadership is all about Permission, Example and Culture (PEC). “For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt… So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” We give people permission with our actions. What are you giving people permission to do? Do your actions lead others to follow after God, or to follow after the world? 3rd Lesson is that if you have a weak leader, then power can be manipulated. Haman tricked the king (3:8-9), Esther and Mordecai manipulated the King (Chapters 5-8), Weak Leadership easily gives up authority to others, to please others, to take that path of least resistance. The difference between leadership and management is that Leaders work to do the RIGHT THINGS, whereas managers work to DO THINGS right. As Stephen Covey said, “Efficient leadership without effective Leadership, is like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic! In America today we are experiencing this with the current regime- we are taking on water, but talking about Equity, identifying 30 genders, having men destroy women’s sports, worrying about what pronouns to use and worshipping the creation while mocking the Creator, with the religion of ‘Save the Planet’.
Leader, lesion #4; God has a plan! Mordecai says in Esther 4:14, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Mordecai is reinforcing the meaning for Esther’s current station in life and even for her existence. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10) Lesson #5 We need to stay connected to our SOURCE, our guide, our GOD! Fasting and praying were critical in this story, in this book, and in our story, in our book, we too need to stay connected to God so that it is His WILL, His WAY, HIS WORD! Even though the book of Esther never mentions GOD, it is clear that Esther felt His presence and leaned on that relationship for a deeper understanding and guidance. It is also evident that a heavenly presence was needed in order for things on the earth to come into fruition. We All need guidance from above if we are to fulfill God’s purposes on this planet. Esther realized she needed guidance and direction to get her through this challenging time. Through fasting and prayer Esther was able to open up for true spiritual growth that would help her develop into the person God needed her to be. Fasting and prayer allow us to keep our focus on God and to remove distractions that often get in the way and allow individuals to walk on the narrow path, which is filled with humility. This is why many people never find the narrow path.
Conduit, Lesson #6, God requires obedience, this leads to FAITH. Remember FAITH as defined by the BIBLE is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. Through Obedience, we learn to have FAITH. Consider, if it weren’t for Esther’s obedience, God’s people would have suffered from genocide. Just like if King Saul would have been obedient and killed all of the Amalekites there would be no Haman. See 1 Samuel 15:3. Esther saved God’s people by being obedient and leading others to the same obedient practices. When Esther approached the king without being requested, she had absolutely no idea what would happen. Would she be accepted, would she be killed, would she be replaced…? She was obedient in her Faith and did what God directed her to do! In doing so she acted in direct disobedience of a worldly King– and for that an entire nation was saved and we read about it thousands of years later! God requires obedience from His children. For such a time as this! Lesson #7, if you are a child of God, then it is impossible to claim VICTIM STATUS. It is impossible for 2 opposing things to occupy the same space in time. It cannot be day and night at the same time. Just like you can NOT have unmerited favor, Grace, and be a prince/princess of the Kingdom of God and also claim to be a VICTIM of anything in this world. We crucified Christ. We have all been victimized, to varying degrees in this evil world. However, we must be careful what we attach to our identity! You are a child of God, you are a Saint, you are more than a conqueror! God uses all the unfairness, unjustness and bad stuff that happens to us to make us more like His Son, Jesus. Do you often make excuses, or lower your bar, because you feel like you’ve been given the shorter stick compared to those around you? Living with the VICTIM mindset will rob you of God’s glory and God’s usefulness. God’s people are not excluded from the potential for greatness because of a handicap or hardship. Esther was a Jew who’d been exiled in a foreign land, and she was an orphan. God could see the strengths that Esther possessed and understood how to use her traits for the greater good of the nation and for His glory. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We were made for Tribulation. As the Word says, if you LOVE GOD, then you will STRUGGLE IN THIS WORLD! However, we were NOT made for the GREAT TRIBULATION saints! Jacob’s Trouble, the GREAT TRIBULATION is a specific 7- year period where the judgement of God and the Wrath of God will be exacted. God will deal with His people the Jews, and bring them back into the fold and he will deal with the judgment on this earth and non-believers. Scripture is clear that the CHURCH will be removed before the unveiling of the Antichrist and that we return with Jesus for His Second Coming. If we are going to return with Him for His 2nd coming, then we need to be removed before that point, so we can return with him later. See Revelation 19:11-21. Paul Himself said, some will not die. Those that are still alive when the RAPTURE takes place will not die, but be changed in a twinkling of an eye. No matter your hardships, no matter the injustice- Look up for your redemption is near! Stay close to God, be obedient, do things that keep you connected to God and help people- SEE a NEED, MEET a NEED! Saint, you have been created…for such a time as this! Soldier on and LOOK UP!