"For Such A Time As This"
There is a story in Esther of how she learned of the plot of an evil man named
Haman to destroy all the Jews of the land of the Persians. By God's providence,
she had become the queen, and by a petition to the King, she was allowed to make
a decree that the Jews could assemble and defend themselves against all enemies.
During this process, Esther had a problem. There was a rule that nobody could
approach the King unless they had been summoned to appear before him. The body
guards were under penalty of death if they let anyone near, no matter who it was.
When Esther was counseled to bring her request to the King, she was fearful. Her
cousin, Mordecai, encouraged her to take a brave step towards the King. In Esther
4:13-14, Mordecai told Esther that she would not be exempt from being put to death
if this happened.
We read in 4:14: "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?" What Mordecai was saying was that God will protect His people, with
whoever would stand up to defend them. Mordecai just pointed out that somehow
God placed her in a position that she could make a difference, and help her people.
It is a great story from God's word.
We do not always know how the providence of God works. The scriptures do not address
what we believe to be common. God finds ways to accomplish His will, and He uses
people to do it. We are mindful in the days of the Jews when God decided to punish
His people, that He would use even godless nations to accomplish His purpose.
Remember that God sent Moses to Egypt carrying a rod, and Moses lead nearly two
million Israelites towards the promised land. God used Saul, whom He named Paul
to take the gospel message of Christ unto the Gentiles. Just knowing how much
Jews despised Gentiles would reveal how much Paul had to overcome to present the
love of God towards all mankind.
We must also bring out the fact that the providence of God exists today. We may
not be able to explain it by scripture, but we also believe in it. The words given
to Esther are something we need to consider about ourselves. If by the providence
of God, we come across the path of a seeker, or someone wanting to learn about
Christ and His church, we need to understand that God put us there to help this
individual. If we ignore the opportunity, we can be sure that God will use someone
else. But as the sage admonition from her cousin would go: We do not know if we
were placed here in this time and place for such an occasion to influence and/or
assist someone in need of the truth.
Our job is to make the effort to share God's word. God is the one who will bring
forth the results. I do not know how many times I hear that someone read one of
my articles and was uplifted in spirit, or found the answer they were looking
for. Most of the time I am not even aware that I have helped someone by my writing.
So if by my effort of trying to serve God, that He uses me to make contact with
someone who needs salvation, it is not my place to withhold the truth from anyone.
God's word will accomplish what God wants. It is our sharing of that word that
will help people receive salvation.
By Carey Scott
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