Such a Time as This…
Then Mordecai commanded(the messingers) to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14)
THE WORD 'GOD' DOES NOT OCCUR IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER. But in no book is there more evidence of the presence of God than in Esther. God’s ways are sometimes strange to us because His ways are so much higher than our ways. If we feel we are in a corner or at the end of our rope, God is not in a corner and God is not at the end of His rope.
WE HAVE LOOKED AT "SUCH A NATION AS THIS" and now we look at “Such a Time as This”…again. As we read Esther, it looks like a normal soap opera. Queen Vashti is something of an upstart on thin ice in refusing to come into the banquet hall at the request of the king. His advisors inform him that he can’t let her get by with that. It will cause his kingdom to come unglued. Looks like another episode of “As The World Turns,” but it’s not. This is what God’s hand looks like sometimes. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
QUEEN VASHTI IS OUT OF A JOB at the wave of the king’s hand and Esther is lined up in a beauty contest that is rigged by the hand of the Lord: she’s going to win! Here’s how it happened.
Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. (Esther 2:2-4)
THESE YOUNG VIRGINS ALL SPENT A YEAR SOAKING UP THE MOST EXPENSIVE oils and perfumes. Then one at a time they spent a night with the king and went to another section of the palace. So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. (Esther 2:8) We don’t know how many beautiful maidens were gathered from every province of the kingdom. This verse says: “many.”
ESTHER WON AND WAS THE NEW QUEEN! Do you mean God was in such a place as this that broke the law of Moses on sexual purity and family order? God didn’t ordain the debauchery of the king and the way his court was set up. This was not the nation of Israel operating under the laws of Moses. But God orchestrated the whole process so that Esther would take the place of Vashti.
THE KING WAS ALREADY MORALLY MESSED UP and Esther didn’t add to his depravity. She may have been the only decent thing that had ever happened to him. He was not going to be humbled like Nebuchadnezzar eating with the cows. God’s purpose was being fulfilled without that.
MORDECAI AND HIS COUSIN/NEICE, ESTHER (adopted by Mordecai as his daughter) had apparently hidden their identity as Jews. Some would say they were not honoring the God of Israel. “Perhaps we could classify them with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who were “secret disciples” and yet were used of God to protect and bury the body of Jesus (John 19:38-42) Like these two men, Mordecai and Esther were hidden in the Persian capital because God had a very special work for them to do.” (Wiersbe)
THE KING'S COURT INCLUDED WICKED HAMAN WHO HATED THE JEWISH PEOPLE and had a devised a way to kill great numbers of them on a given day and take their belongings, much like Hitler and NAZI Germany did on a much larger scale. King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) did not know that Esther was a Jew. God knew she was a Jew and oversaw the drama that was unfolding. You probably know the story. It’s worth reading every year. What God can do to manage a big crisis like that, He can also do to manage a much lesser crisis for us. Nothing is too hard for the Lord, not even your problem. Can you trust Him to order your steps, so you don’t have to get bent out of shape?
ESTHER IS 100% HUMAN. Her Uncle Mordecai, who raised her, is her counselor at the gate and he tells her she needs to intervene for her people. She hesitates. Vashti has been disposed of and Esther can be disposed of…. with a sword. Uncle/cousin Mordecai reminds her that she may have come to the kingdom for such a time as this. If she chickened out, God would save them some other way and she would lose her place, maybe her life. She was in no place or time to try to save her own life.
THE KING HAD NOT CALED HER IN A WHILE AND WITHOUT AN INVITATION if she ventured into the throne room without the king’s favorable hand, she was a dead woman. Finally, she dolled up and entered the king’s court, saying: “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). As she entered, he beckoned her to come in and she was now ready to ask him to come to a special banquet, along with wicked Haman. You know the story from here. In the end Haman was hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. The Jews were allowed to fight for themselves to save their own lives.
“WE BEGIN TO SEE GOD BY HIS PROVIDENCE MOVING NOW in the affairs of the nation. It is obvious that Esther did not accidentally win a beauty contest. She was not accidentally the one who became queen. She is there for a very definite purpose, and God has been arranging this all the time. He is prepared for this event. God knows what is coming. That is why, friends, we can trust Him. When we put our hand in His hand, He has the power to hold us. He knows what is going to happen tomorrow and next month and next year. He will care for us. All we have to do is trust Him.” (McGee)
IF YOU'RE NOT IN SOME IMPRESSIVE PLACE you’d like to be, don’t worry about it. God knows all about you and He has not forgotten you. He has a plan for you, and He won’t forget you. He is your shepherd and He is a good shepherd. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:5-6) Is the Lord your helper? Are you looking to Him? There is great freedom in obeying the Lord and trusting Him and saying: “If I perish, I perish.” Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
FEBRUARY 20, 2019 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Numbers 3-4 P.M. Mark 3:22-35
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A Good Verse to Memorize:
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:17)
Song for Today:
The Model Prayer (4:25) (Andrea Bocelli-Orchestra-Choir)
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The salt shaker may not be the best thing. We need about 400-450 mg of sodium a day and we get that much in fresh, unsalted fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Americans on average consume about 3,400 mg of salt per day. The suggested maximum by the FDA is 2,300 mg.
If our diet is heavy into canned and boxed foods, we are getting “dosed” with salt. Blood pressure is a concern but there are concerns all over our bodies about consuming too much salt. In fact, some researchers are warning that it may be impossible to hold down our salt intake to a healthy level if we are majoring in store-bought canned and boxed
PLUS….our diets are low in potassium. Potassium is an antagonist of sodium and helps drive excess sodium out of the body. Excess sodium stresses the body. Sodium, like sugar, is addictive. After being on a low-sodium intake for 2-3 weeks, what you used to eat and thought nothing about it, will taste salty. Do your body a favor and watch the salt intake. Grits are about the only thing I add salt to. Maybe I’ll get the “cure” on salting my grits. Ω