Esther was an unlikely hero in an unlikely time. She is part of the incredible story of God’s faithfulness during one of the most challenging periods in Judah’s history.
First, her people are in exile from her homeland and have been her entire life, and for her foreseeable future. She is a young woman thrust into a forced beauty pageant for the king of their oppressors, Xerxes. He is out to find a new queen after banishing the former one for disobedience. Against all odds, his favor rests with Esther, and she becomes the new queen!
Second, her cousin, Mordecai, tells her to keep her ethnicity hidden. Esther is forced into living her new life in secret and separated from all that made her who she was.
Finally, because Mordecai would not bow to Xerxes’ closest advisor, Haman, her people are at risk of being slaughtered.
Mordecai comes to Esther and asks her to plead to the king for the salvation of her people. This puts her in a challenging position. Would the king favor her request over Haman, even though she had kept her heritage a secret from him? It is then that her cousin makes this statement.
“How do you know God did not place you in this position of influence for such a time as this?”
Esther wins the day. Haman is put to death, and the people of Judah are saved. Jews still celebrate this event today with the feast of Purim.
Our Current Time
It seems we are living in a “for such a time as this” moment with political and social unrest punctuating a global pandemic. We have an opportunity to display the love of God, the joy of a life set free from the “wages of sin,” and the peace that passes human understanding as never before. If there was ever a time to live out the fruit of the Spirit, it is now – for such a time as this.
As with Esther, living out the love of God in the face of factionalism, hatred, judgment, and fear will take courage and resolve. We must commit to following in Jesus’ footsteps no matter what the cost. In addition to his own example, the Bible is full of stories of others facing these things and worse for the glory of God, the growth of his kingdom, and the sake of Christ. Can we respond any differently than they?
Take heart today and take a stand for love in the face of hatred, peace in the midst of chaos, and joy in the center of hopelessness. Be the light in the darkness of your world, for such a time as this!