Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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For Such a Time
The 2020 Awakening!
Terry R. Baughman
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14 NKJV).
Mordecai inspired his young cousin, Esther, to arise to the challenge of her generation. He had taken her in as a child when both of her parents died and raised her as his own daughter. Because of his great affection for Esther he would have never suggested anything that would have endangered her life. There was a nation wide search for a new queen when the Persian queen fell into disfavor with King Ahasuerus. He desired to find a truly beautiful and special person to fill the role. When Esther was considered in the competition, Mordecai cautioned her to conceal her Jewish heritage.
Living under the oppression of Persian rule, the Jewish people had began a slow recovery after long years of captivity. Old hostilities and prejudice remained against the Jews while many of the ruling party viewed them as inferior in the land of their subjugation. Haman had authority over the princes of Persia and had a deep-seated hatred for the Jewish people. He plotted for a way to destroy the Jews added to an acrimonious determination to eradicate Mordecai. Haman seethed with hatred when Mordecai refused to bow down in obeisance to him. Ultimately Haman developed a plan to paint all Jews as rebells to the king and convinced him to sign an edict that all Jews might be slaughtered on an appointed day.
This became an urgent situation and the scheduled day for ethnic genocide was approaching. The Jewish people fasted and prayed for deliverance and Mordecai sent word to Queen Esther, “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13–14).
Mordecai was now convinced that God had placed Esther in this position of prominence with access to the King for this very purpose. When the situation was desperate God had arranged beforehand the person to be an influential voice of hope for the Jewish people. Mordecai was full of faith and believed that even if Esther refused to intercede for the Jews, God would have someone else arise to the challenge.
Esther rose to the challenge. After three days where all the people fasted and prayed for her because she pledged to approach the king saying, “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16). She risked her own life when she approached the King unbidden. Had King Ahasuerus simply ignored her presence she would have been forcefully removed and sentenced to death. The King apparently wanted to hear her petition and what she had come to request. He raised the golden scepter that was in his hand indicating acceptance and granting her permission to speak. Through a series of banquets and efforts to win his favor she revealed her ethnicity and the motivation for the wicked plot of Haman.
King Ahasuerus passed sentence against Haman and he was hanged on the very gallows he had constructed to execute Mordecai. Esther was spared and she was the instrument of God to bring relief to her people.
God has brought each of us to this generation. The current conflict is not about our favor or discomfort, rather it is more about the advancement of the Kingdom of God. He is at work in the world and involved in our dilemma. Who knows if He has brought us to this generation for such a time as this!
“Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).