For several months, now, I have been thinking a lot about the Book of Esther, and I am always encouraged by seeing how God was not taken by surprise by the scheme that the devil was trying to work against the Jewish people. He did not strike His forehead with the palm of His hand and say, ”Wow, I didn’t see that one coming!” Instead, He already had a plan in place before that scheme ever began to unfold through Haman. He had been preparing an unknown young Jewish orphan to be in just the right place at just the right time to do something to thwart that scheme before it could be activated. As Mordecai, her cousin, wisely observed, Esther had “come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
Now, please understand that this was no small thing that was going on here. The devil had put hatred for the Jews who were living as captives in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran, which at that time extended from India to Ethiopia) in the heart of Haman, one of King Xerxes’ high officials. Haman then devised a plot that, if left unchecked, would have wiped out most of the Jewish people alive at that time! But because of Esther’s intervention, God not only stopped the scheme, but instead turned it completely around so that the Jews were able to wipe out THEIR enemies instead! Amazing!
What I have found especially intriguing as I have been meditating on this story is the similarity of the conditions of the world in which we live today to those found in the Book of Esther. All over the world the devil is devising schemes to destroy God’s people, both Jews and Christians alike. The heads of the government in Iran would like nothing better than to wipe Israel off the face of the earth; radical Muslims the world over hate both Israel and the U.S. (calling us the great Satan); and even here in our own nation, it seems that the only clearly-defined people group that can be openly criticized, persecuted, and condemned for their beliefs are committed Christians. Is this taking God by surprise? Did He not see it coming?
No! God is never ignorant of what is happening, nor is He guilty of playing catch-up! He already has a plan in place to do something, and that plan involves people; people like you and me! I believe that those of us who belong to Him were brought to the kingdom (His Kingdom) “for such a time as this!” God does not make mistakes. He planned for us to be alive right now because He desires to use us in the strategies that He is already putting into play that will destroy the works of the devil. You and I have a far more significant role in this thing than we give ourselves credit for. Think of it this way: when time is running out, and the game is on the line, who does the coach send in? The third-string players? Someone out of the stands? No, he sends in the best he has available for “such a time as this!”
God wants to send us into the game because time is running out, and the game truly is on the line. But we have to be among the best that He has available; and we can be! As we look at what happened with Esther so that she became the best available at that time, I believe that we will see some areas in which the Lord desires to work in us so that we, also, will become those whom He chooses to put in the game “for such a time as this!”
Next: Part 2, Separation