When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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?”
The Jewish people had been exiled to a foreign land, the pagan empire of the Babylonians. For many Christians in America today, the land we grew up in has radically changed. We have in many ways become a place that is foreign to the one we grew up in. Popular American cultural values and morality have shifted distinctly away from those we believe to be true and right. So in many ways, Christians feel “exiled” even while they have not been relocated geographically.
In Babylon, the King’s advisor Haman exercised his influence to have a law enacted to exterminate the Jewish people from the empire. This was in a very real way predecessor to Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution.” The law was decreed and the lot was cast to determine the date of this event: The 13th of Adar.
But God had other plans. Working as he often does through humble means, a young Jewish girl was elected by King Ahasueras to be the next Queen. In such a position, she had access to the King – also a position of influence. It was a risky place to be, for Esther was the replacement for the recently deposed Queen Vashti. In a very real way she had to risk her life to come into the King’s presence.
And in these circumstances, Esther’s Uncle Mordecai, her foster father, spoke these words. They bear repeating: And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? And history bears out that Esther undertook the risk. She exercised her influence and her God-given gifts. With courage, thoughtfulness, and decisive action, she became God’s instrument for the deliverance of the Jews and the judgment of Haman.
For such a time as this. Mordecai made it clear to Esther that she had a choice. She could join God in his mission to deliver the Jews, or she could forbear. If she chose not to act, deliverance would come from another place. But Esther took up the challenge, and embraced her vocation. Mordecai For such a time as this. made it clear to Esther that she had a choice. She could join God in his mission to deliver the Jews, or she could forbear. If she chose not to act, deliverance would come from another place. But Esther took up the challenge, and embraced her vocation.
Christians in today’s America face a similar choice. Like Esther and Mordecai, we can choose to embrace the God-given moment of opportunity that we have to speak and act as the people of God in what has become for us a foreign land. Will we, like this unlikely, meek young Jewish girl, have the faith and courage to respond?
The decision is both personal and corporate. Each of us as individuals must embrace our time and place, and exercise our gifts and talents to act with courage. And we need not act in isolation, but in unity work together to live out and share the salvation of Jesus Christ.
This is our time. This is our place. As God’s people by faith in Jesus Christ, you are a holy people and a royal priesthood. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
I invite you to come and join us as for the next several weeks we undertake a study of the Jewish people in exile in the Scripture, and look for inspiration and instruction to live out God’s calling as a people Seeking Jesus and Serving Others.
Your Partner in the Gospel,