Every now and then, we find ourselves at a moment in time that might be called a “pivot point.” In sports it’s called the moment for a big play, a time when the game is on the line.
In WW 2, it was “D-Day” – the battle that would turn the war. In business, it’s the key sale that will put you over the top and into the black for the fiscal year.
When I think of what’s happening in our world right now I believe that we are at a strategic moment in time. You and I are here today swith the opportunity of a lifetime. Esther too stood at a moment in time that was crucial to the life and future of our people.
The challenge Esther received is found in Esther 4:14 and it may very well be the challenge that our God and King has for you at this point in your life, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
If you’re a child of God, you too have attained a royal position, and God has placed you where you are, not just to enjoy the benefits of life in America, but to build His kingdom, to help His people, to fulfill His purposes.
God created you for a divine appointment – a unique role to fulfill in your life – just like Esther! There is something you can do for God that no one else can do – a God-given niche only you can fill.
Of all His millions of children, you are the one God has positioned to rescue the people around you. Like Esther, who was placed in a strategic spot, so too have you been appointed “for such a time as this.”
I want to consider three truths today. You are where you are because… 1. God’s people are in distress.
In 538 BC, our fathers who were exiled in Persia were allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. But many were reluctant to leave the relative security of Persia. Kind of like most of us who are Jewish in the U.S. and not inclined to return to Israel.
The Persian Empire was huge, and the capital city was Susa — located on the current borders between Iraq and Iran — which was home to thousands of Jews where business was very good.
It is against this backdrop, that the story of Esther unfolds. The Persian King decreed that he wanted a new Queen. So, a search began. All the beautiful young girls in the Empire were eligible to be the new queen.
Esther was a poor, Jewish orphan. Her older cousin, Mordecai, had become her adopted father. He raised her well. And Esther was chosen. She was named the new Queen because of her extraordinary beauty, but also because of her wisdom and grace, a gift from God.
The King genuinely loved Esther and would do anything for her. But he didn’t know that his new Queen was Jewish!
Meanwhile, the King’s top assistant, an evil, ego-maniac named Haman, plotted to murder every Jewish man, woman and child in all of Persia. Esther’s cousin Mordecai raised Esther, and refused to bow down to Haman on the steps of the King’s court.
So, Haman, manipulated the king to make a royal decree to have the Jews annihilated. At stake were the lives of thousands and thousands of God’s people. A day was set for them to die. They lived under the threat of death.
Today, in America, we aren’t living with the threat of physical death yet. But God’s people are in distress! My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6
We who have the knowledge of the Good News need to share the way that leads to life to our people who will spiritually and eternally perish without this knowledge!
You are where you are for such a time as this because God’s people are in distress!
2. Secondly you are where you are because you can’t hide who you are.
Mordecai learned of the plan to kill all the Jews. He wrote a letter warning Esther. But Esther wrote back to say that she was powerless to stop the killing. Her excuse was that the law stated no one could enter the King’s chambers uninvited – even the Queen.
Esther had not seen the King for a long time. She may have even wondered if she had fallen out of favor with him. To enter the throne room uninvited was to literally invite death.
In essence, Esther was telling Mordecai, “I can’t do what God wants. I don’t want to break the law and be killed by the King!” Let’s read Esther 4:10-12.
Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai: “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.” They related Esther’s words to Mordecai.
Esther didn’t feel she was the person for God’s job!
Then Mordecai sent a second message to Esther, insisting that she would be discovered to be Jewish and she too would surely die; As a condemned Jew or as a Queen who violated the King’s law. Esther and the Jewish people were doomed unless she acted. Look at v 13-14.
Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
This has to go down as one of the most incredible “pivot points in history.” Mordecai says, “If you do nothing, don’t think you will escape death. You’ll be found to be a Jew as well and will die with your kinsmen.
God’s hands aren’t tied. He will use someone else to save His people. But think how great it would be for God to use you. Could it be that this explains why you were chosen to be queen, Esther—for such a time as this—for this very moment?”
This was the testing of Esther’s character. She was beautiful on the outside. But was she beautiful on the inside?
I believe these verses remind us of I Samuel 16:7: “The LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
What did He see when He saw Esther’s heart? What does He desire to see in your heart and in mine? What is God looking for in our hearts?
God is looking for a teachable heart.
Esther 4 is basically a record of messages back and forth between Mordecai and Esther. Look again at a couple of phrases in Esther 4:12, 13, “They related Esther’s words to Mordecai. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther…”
Yes, Mordecai raised her and trained her. But she’s now on her own. She’s the queen of Persia – the most powerful woman in the world! She could have said, “Look! I’m a VIP now. You should be listening to me.” Yet she didn’t. She’s still listening to this man of God. She allows herself to be influenced. She demonstrates a teachable heart.
When God looks at your heart, does He see a teachable heart?
Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. Proverbs 9:9
God issues His challenge and teaches us in many ways. He does it though His Word. He does it through His spiritual leaders and elders. He does it through family members or friends or bosses or co-workers.
I want to encourage us all to let God teach us. He’ll speak! It may be through your reading of the Bible. It may be through a talk you hear on the radio or on tape. He’ll speak. Are you teachable?
God is looking for a prayerful heart. “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus, I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law…” Esther 4:15-16
In the Bible, we often see fasting and prayer linked together. In Daniel 9:3, we read, “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting…” Fasting causes us to look to the Spirit rather than to rely on the flesh or own strength.
When Esther knew in her heart that God was calling her, she acted. She told Mordecai to have God’s people to pray and fast on her behalf.
Esther knew that if she was going to fulfill her divine calling, she couldn’t do it relying on her own resources or clever schemes. Through prayer and fasting, she relied on God’s thoughts to be her thoughts. She asked for God’s wisdom and power for her every move.
Listen, we don’t have the power in ourselves to fulfill our divine appointment for such a time as this. God is the source! Through the Holy Spirit, God will faithfully empower us to take the actions we need “for such a time as this.”
Galatians 5:13-25 gives instructions on how to discern if we are filled with the Spirit of God or walking in the flesh, which is essentially acting in our own strength.
God is looking for a prayerful heart one that is also filled with His Spirit.
3. God is also looking for a sacrificial heart – giving time, talent and treasure.
Notice how verse 16 ends. “…and if I perish, I perish.”
If Esther obeyed Mordecai, she stood to at risk to lose everything, including her life. Although the king was her husband, she couldn’t just stroll into his office and casually unload what was on her mind.
Things didn’t work like that in ancient Persia. He had to send for her.
Put yourself in her place. “No one knows I’m Jewish. If I don’t say anything, I’m still the queen. I can keep all this wealth and fame intact. People will still continue to serve me. But if I go before the king in defense of my people, then I could lose it all.
I could lose my royal status, my wealth, my honor.” You have to think that she weighed her options carefully. She understood the implications of her decision. She decided, “I’m willing to sacrifice it all because God’s people are in distress and God has placed and called me to this, If I perish, I perish!”
Scholars say that people weren’t allowed into the king’s presence without an invitation because it may have been a safety precaution designed to protect the king’s life. Men stood around the throne with axes to punish any who approached the throne without being invited.
She’s thinking, “If a guard drives a sword through my body, I die doing the right thing.” She has changed from concern for her own safety to concern for her people’s survival. She reached her own personal hour of decision and made the right choice.
God challenges our values, What’s most important to us? In order to fulfill our divine appointment the time we are living, we must be willing to let go of our selfishness. We’ve got to let go of our need to be in control.
We’ve got to let go of our telling God when it’s convenient in our schedules to serve Him. We’ve got to be living sacrifices God is looking for a sacrificial heart (Rom. 12:1-2).
What does God see when He looks into our hearts?
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His (2 Chron. 16:9).
“Enough of the easy life,” said Esther. “It’s time to put my life on the line. I’m Jewish, and I believe in the living God. I’m ready to stand up for my people. And if I perish, I perish.”
What does it matter if you get involved or not? It matters greatly because it shows what’s in your heart. Yes, God has other ways to accomplish His objectives.
He has other people He can use. He isn’t frustrated or restrained because you and I may be indifferent. But when that happens, we’re the losers.
There won’t be some heavenly shout urging you to take a stand. No flash of lightning will wake us up. It doesn’t work like that. So, what are we doing to stand up, to answer the call of God in this hour?
What we see next is that when someone stands up for God, God’s power is displayed. Esther asked for prayer and fasting to prepare for the moment when the doors to the Throne Room were opened and she walked through the door.
She knelt as soon as she was clear of the doorway and waited for the response from the King. Would she live or would she die? When the King extended his golden scepter, he spared her life.
His response was so tender. The king listened to her plea for her people.The tables were turned on the man who wanted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews. The king saw him for what he was – a selfish, power-hungry, ego-maniac.
He was executed on the very gallows he built for Mordecai. Not only were the Jews allowed to live, they were permitted to defend themselves against their enemies. Esther remains queen. And Mordecai, is lifted to become second-in-command to the king, like Joseph in Egypt.
Psalm 68:35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!
Wicked plans were thwarted. Corruption rooted out. Evil dealt with. It’s interesting that the name of God is absent from the pages of this book in the Bible. But He’s there.
He’s present in every scene and in every event, and He ultimately brings everything to a marvelous climax as He proves Himself Lord of His people.
Are you struggling today? Caught in between a rock and a hard place? Stop, take a breath and look around, and know that the hand of God is leading you and orchestrating the events around you. Who knows, but that you have been lead to right where you are, for such a time as this.
Though God is invisible don’t let it cause you to doubt that He is invincible. God’s power is on display!
Take note of the link between God’s people in distress and God’s power on display is God’s person. Are we God’s person?
It’s no accident that we are at this time in history. Like He did with Esther, God is challenging each of us this way, “Who knows but that we were placed here for just such a time as this?”
The whole course of our life has led us to this very point. God knew that we would be interested enough in the things of God that we brought to today at this time.
God has appointed us for such a time as this. God has things for us to accomplish. He has prepared good works that we are to walk in (Eph 2:8-10). Just as He prepared Mordecai and Esther.
Do we want to be part of something bigger than ourselvs? Do we want to do something that will last for eternity?”
God knows everything about us and sees us as His masterpiece, and will never give up on creating us to be everything he created us to be.
So, let’s give permission to God to take control of our lives. If you don’t know Yeshua, He’s here. He loves you. He died to pay the penalty for your sins. He rose again. If you haven’t already, ask Yeshua to come into your life do it right now.
Do you see something that needs to be done? Then pray and ask the Lord and He will guide you so that you too can do His calling.