For Such a Time as This

There is a pivotal question in the book of Esther. “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  It is also a question we must ponder for ourselves.

The situation is this. Esther was a Jewish girl taken from her home for the king’s harem. Her real name is Hadassah, an orphan being raised by her uncle, Mordecai. They were from a line of Jews that were exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar and still living in that area. Though in exile for several decades, the Jewish folks still retained their heritage.

King Ahasuerus had sent away the previous queen because she failed to obey the king’s call. So they scoured the country for the most beautiful women. Some may have gone by choice, but Hadassah did not. She was instead taken against her will. But Hadassah, now called Esther, hid her heritage from them.

Now it may seem like a plush assignment, eating the best foods, days at the spa, and only having to spend one night with the king. But none of this was by her choice. And yet, the king loved Esther and made her his queen.

Through a series of events, Prime Minister Haman became enraged at the Jews and purposed to kill them all. Through clandestine messages, Mordecai tells Esther of the plot and begs her to intercede with the king. Esther is unsure since the law of the land punishes by death anyone who approaches the king uninvited unless the king holds out his scepter.

That is when and why the question is asked, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NLT)

All the things leading up to this point were adverse to Hadassah’s desires. She lived in exile far from her native land. She was orphaned, she was stolen from her family, she was made to endure palace life, she was made to have sex with the king. She was made a queen, although she had no real power other than being available for the king whenever he desired. And yet, who knows, perhaps all of this adversity was for this exact moment in time.

Esther chose to approach the king without an invitation. Things did work out well for her and her people. And perhaps it is Esther’s influence that also encouraged a future king to release the captives from their exile.

Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Your situation may be just as dire and unwanted as Hadassah’s. Or maybe it’s not dire but something less. Whatever your circumstances, God may have you there precisely to impact the world or a person or a tribe. We don’t know the outcome of taking that risk, neither did Hadassah. She risked death to see the king and expose Haman’s plot.

Your “such as time as this” may be any number of things. Perhaps the risk of exposing our faith in Christ to another. Or the risk of offering to pray for someone at work or in the marketplace. Maybe the risk is speaking to powers on behalf of others. The risk could be going against the crowd and saying no. It could be something as simple as making friends with the outcasts. Our moment may not be as history-making as Hadassah’s. But it is sure to have an impact far beyond what we can dream of. 

Dale Heinold
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