For Such a Time As This (Esther Day 4) Author-Brandon Caudill
Regardless of what you or I may think, we were purposefully brought into existence by God in this particular time in history for a reason. He does, in fact, have a plan and a purpose for each of us. At times it seems incredibly clear; at others, foggy at best. The constant variable, however, is our unchanging God. He is sovereign over all things — time, people and events. We see this tension played out in today’s reading as Mordecai and Esther realize and struggle with their God-given mission and purpose: the saving of the Jewish people from certain death.
As we wrestle with our text today, you may be struggling with God’s calling on your own life. If so, consider with me these four things we see in the text.
“When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.” -Esther 4:1
Upon learning of the horrible plan to exterminate his race of people, Mordecai was moved to bitter tears. He was broken over this situation and was moved to action.
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.” -Esther 4:11
After being challenged by Mordecai to beg the King for his favor on the Jews, Esther hesitated out of fear for her life. God had given her a platform to make a difference, but fear stopped her from taking action.
“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:13-14
When Esther voiced her fear to approach the King, Mordecai reminded her that it was no coincidence that she went from a no-name orphan to the Queen of Persia. There was a God ordained purpose for her good fortune. She had been given her platform “for such a time as this.”
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” -Esther 4:16
After Mordecai’s appeal to realize her purpose, Esther decided to move forward in faith. She determined to fast—an act of prayer—before appealing to the King for her people. She moved from fear to faith, being able to proclaim, “If I perish, I perish.”
What or who has God broken your heart for? Is that brokenness moving you to action? What fears are hindering you from answering His call? Do you realize God has sovereignly placed you where you are for a purpose? Are you prayerfully stepping out in faith for His glory?
Remember this: even though Mordecai and Esther model for us what it looks like to answer the call of God, it’s ultimately Jesus who models it perfectly. He was broken for us. He faced the fear of the cross and lost His life for us. He knew His purpose was to accomplish His Father’s will by bearing our sins and rising from the dead. He prayerfully stepped out in faith for our good and His glory. Indeed, Jesus is the greater Mordecai and the greater Esther. And when we struggle and fail, we can trust in His perfection.
Father God, I’m struck by Your Word today. You have reminded me that I am alive now, in this place, in this city, with these people, for such a time as this. May I, like Mordecai and Esther, act upon this. Break my heart for what breaks Yours and move me past my fears into action for Your glory. And may I always be thankful for You, Jesus. You are the greater Esther. Unlike her, You gave Your life for Your people. Though Your Word doesn’t specifically document it, I know she eventually died and remains in the grave today. But You rose again from Your grave to give me hope for today and eternal life. Thank you for such a gift. May my life be spent making this gospel known to others for Your glory. In Your name I pray, Jesus. Amen.