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For Such a Time as This

For Such a Time as This


All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person who is of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


That statement is II Timothy 3:16-17. It makes the point that every word and every phrase in the Bible is important. 


That is most certainly true. It forms one of the foundations of our Christian faith. However, there are some words and some phrases that are better known than others, including the phrase that is the theme for today’s message - “For such a time as this.”


Today’s message will have a tag team approach. I will have the first part of it, setting the stage for when the theme phrase is recorded in the Bible. Then Debra Underhill will be tagged. She will take much of the rest of the message sharing other examples of Bible characters serving God in the situations and times God put them in - people reviewed at the 2017 Women of the Church of God Convention last month in Florida. I will then be tagged to provide a closing challenge.


My first part of today’s message takes us to the Old Testament Book of Esther. In this message, not all of what is recorded can or will be shared. For the full story, you are invited to read all 10 chapters on your own. It is an exciting book of drama, intrigue, and strange twists.


Not all the Old Testament book will be covered, but for our purposes in this message, here is a review of some of what is recorded. 


Esther was a woman who lived in the kingdom of Ahasuerus, whose realm at the time extended from India to Ethiopia. The area included Persia and Media.


Esther was not of Persian or Median ancestry. She was a Jewish woman. A young woman raised by Mordecai, an older cousin.


Early in the Book of Esther, we learn that King Ahasuerus became angry with his wife when she refused to obey an order from him. While angry, he listened to the suggestion of his advisors and, in essence, divorced his wife - the queen - thereby removing her from her position.


Not long after that, the king missed his queen. However, the decree he had issued about her no longer being queen could not be changed. So it was that the king’s servants suggested they go out into the kingdom to search for beautiful young virgins who would be brought to him. From them, the king could select a new queen.


The king agreed. The search was made. Many beautiful young virgins were gathered and taken to the king’s palace, where they went through a time of getting prepared to go meet the king.


Esther was one of the beautiful young virgins who was gathered. Like the others, she spent time being prepared to go meet the king. When it became her turn, she greatly pleased the king. She was so impressive that the selection process ended. The king loved Esther more than any of the other women he had met. Right away the king put the royal crown on her head. At that moment, Esther became the new queen.


By the way, neither the king nor anyone else, other than her older cousin Mordecai, knew Esther was a Jew. That will soon become an important point. But shortly after Esther was crowned, Mordecai, the one who had raised her, was sitting at the king’s gate.


That was an important place, so he apparently also had some authority, or at least respect. At the gate, one day Mordecai overheard two of the king’s servants talking about attacking the king. Mordecai reported that to Esther, who relayed the message to the king, doing so in the name of Mordecai. An investigation ensued. The two servants were found guilty. They were both executed by hanging.


After that, trouble started for Mordecai. The king’s chief advisor, a man named Haman, became insanely upset at Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman whenever Haman passed by. Everyone else in the kingdom, including others at the gate, bowed down to Haman. That was the customary thing to do. But remember that if Esther was a Jew, so, too, was her cousin. Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, telling those who asked him about it that as a Jew, he would bow down to no one other than God.


I wonder if Mordecai bowed down to the king. It is not recorded one way or another, so we are left to surmise that he did, which means it was Haman Mordecai really did not like. Or maybe he did not bow down to the king either, but it was of no concern to the king.


Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman. To punish, not only Mordecai, but all the other Jews in the kingdom as well - remember no one knew or had figured out Esther was a Jew - Haman convinced the king the Jews in the kingdom were dangerous. He convinced the king to issue a decree that all the Jews in the kingdom were to be killed. Haman was given the authority to choose the day of the killing.


When Mordecai heard about the king’s decree, he mourned about what was ordered. His grief was no doubt increased because he knew it was his fault the decree had been issue.


Mordecai’s mourning and the reason for it were reported to Esther. Also reported was Mordecai’s instruction that she go to the king to convince him to change his order for the killing of all the Jews in the kingdom.


Esther’s response, sent back to Mordecai, was that she could not just walk in and talk to the king. Not even the queen had that right. Anyone who tried to meet the king uninvited was killed unless, for some reason, the king reached out his golden scepter.


It was too risky, Esther reported back to Mordecai. She could not do what he instructed her to do. It was then Mordecai sent back to Esther two comments. 


The first was the reminder Esther was one of the Jews in the kingdom. The king did not yet know that. I am guessing Haman did not have that information either. Otherwise he might not have asked that all the Jews be killed. Mordecai sent to Esther this message. “Think not that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews in the kingdom.”


The second message for Esther is today’s theme. “And who knows? Maybe you have come to this place for such a time as this.” Maybe, Mordecai suggested, it was God who put you here for the purpose of protecting His people.


Esther did go to the king uninvited. The king did reach out his golden scepter, which gave her the opportunity to talk to him in an official capacity. In kind of a roundabout way, Esther, in front of both the king and Haman, made a plea for the Jewish people - including herself. 


This is when the king discovered she was a Jew. When the king learned of the plot to kill his queen, he became furious. He demanded to know whose idea the plot was. Haman was named as the culprit, which caused the king, in a rage, to leave where they all were.

While the king was gone for what turned out to be a short time, Haman went to Esther to beg for his life. Unfortunately for Haman, the way I read, he tripped, landing right beside where the queen was sitting, making it look like he was attacking her, that happening just as the king re-entered the room.

With even greater anger, the king condemned Haman. Right away, Haman was led to gallows that he had ordered to be built for Mordecai. There Haman was executed by hanging.


Remember that a decree from the king could not be canceled, even by the king himself, so there was going to be an attack on all the Jews of the kingdom on the day set by Haman. However, the king issued a new law, that one giving the Jews the right to fight back on that day, which they did victoriously. By the end, Esther had even more power and wealth and Mordecai was given the second most important position behind the king.


Again, as you have time, read all the Book of Esther. As mentioned, it features drama, intrigue, and strange twists. But for now, let’s think more about the phrase, “For such a time as this,” realizing that while those words are specific to Esther, there are other times in the Bible when God put specific people in specific situations for such a time as they were in, God relying on them to do His will.


For that, I tag Debra.


DEBRA


For such a time as this. Are you in such a time? In a circumstance where God has placed you to do His will?


Actually, as long as we are where God wants us to be, “for such a time as this” applies to each one of us. It may not be as dramatic as what has been discussed in this message. God may not be calling You to save an entire race. He most certainly is not calling to give birth to the Savior. Mary already took care of that.


But if it is God’s work that is to be done, if it is His will that is to be obeyed, whether in your family or at work or at school or with your neighbors or your friends or serving right here at church, it is important.


Ask for God’s help to know what He wants you to do. I will ask the same thing for myself. And know that when He tells you and when He tells me, it does mean He has put you and me and us right where we need to be for such a time as this.

















For Such a Time as This


All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person who is of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


That statement is II Timothy 3:16-17. It makes the point that every word and every phrase in the Bible is important. 


That is most certainly true. It forms one of the foundations of our Christian faith. However, there are some words and some phrases that are better known than others, including the phrase that is the theme for today’s message - “For such a time as this.”


For that, let’s go to the Old Testament Book of Esther. In this message, not all of what is recorded can or will be shared. For the full story, you are invited to read all 10 chapters on your own. It is an exciting book of drama, intrigue, and strange twists.


Not all the Old Testament book will be covered, but for our purposes in this message, here is a review of some of what is recorded. 


Esther was a woman who lived in the kingdom of Ahasuerus, whose realm at the time extended from India to Ethiopia. The area included Persia and Media.


Esther was not of Persian or Median ancestry. She was a Jewish woman. A young woman raised by Mordecai, an older cousin.


Early in the Book of Esther, we learn that King Ahasuerus became angry with his wife when she refused to obey an order from him. While angry, he listened to the suggestion of his advisors and, in essence, divorced his wife - the queen - thereby removing her from her position.


Not long after that, the king missed his queen. However, the decree he had issued about her no longer being queen could not be changed. So it was that the king’s servants suggested they go out into the kingdom to search for beautiful young virgins who would be brought to him. From them, the king could select a new queen.


The king agreed. The search was made. Many beautiful young virgins were gathered and taken to the king’s palace, where they went through a time of getting prepared to go meet the king.


Esther was one of the beautiful young virgins who was gathered. Like the others, she spent time being prepared to go meet the king. When it became her turn, she greatly pleased the king. She was so impressive that the selection process ended. The king loved Esther more than any of the other women he had met. Right away the king put the royal crown on her head. At that moment, Esther became the new queen.


By the way, neither the king nor anyone else, other than her older cousin Mordecai, knew Esther was a Jew. That will soon become an important point. But shortly after Esther was crowned, Mordecai, the one who had raised her, was sitting at the king’s gate.


That was an important place, so he apparently also had some authority, or at least respect. At the gate, one day Mordecai overheard two of the king’s servants talking about attacking the king. Mordecai reported that to Esther, who relayed the message to the king, doing so in the name of Mordecai. An investigation ensued. The two servants were found guilty. They were both executed by hanging.


After that, trouble started for Mordecai. The king’s chief advisor, a man named Haman, became insanely upset at Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman whenever Haman passed by. Everyone else in the kingdom, including others at the gate, bowed down to Haman. That was the customary thing to do. But remember that if Esther was a Jew, so, too, was her cousin. Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, telling those who asked him about it that as a Jew, he would bow down to no one other than God.


I wonder if Mordecai bowed down to the king. It is not recorded one way or another, so we are left to surmise that he did, which means it was Haman Mordecai really did not like. Or maybe he did not bow down to the king either, but it was of no concern to the king.


Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman. To punish, not only Mordecai, but all the other Jews in the kingdom as well - remember no one knew or had figured out Esther was a Jew - Haman convinced the king the Jews in the kingdom were dangerous. He convinced the king to issue a decree that all the Jews in the kingdom were to be killed. Haman was given the authority to choose the day of the killing.


When Mordecai heard about the king’s decree, he mourned about what was ordered. His grief was no doubt increased because he knew it was his fault the decree had been issue.


Mordecai’s mourning and the reason for it were reported to Esther. Also reported was Mordecai’s instruction that she go to the king to convince him to change his order for the killing of all the Jews in the kingdom.


Esther’s response, sent back to Mordecai, was that she could not just walk in and talk to the king. Not even the queen had that right. Anyone who tried to meet the king uninvited was killed unless, for some reason, the king reached out his golden scepter.


It was too risky, Esther reported back to Mordecai. She could not do what he instructed her to do. It was then Mordecai sent back to Esther two comments. 


The first was the reminder Esther was one of the Jews in the kingdom. The king did not yet know that. I am guessing Haman did not have that information either. Otherwise he might not have asked that all the Jews be killed. Mordecai sent to Esther this message. “Think not that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews in the kingdom.”


The second message for Esther is today’s theme. “And who knows? Maybe you have come to this place for such a time as this.” Maybe, Mordecai suggested, it was God who put you here for the purpose of protecting His people.


Esther did go to the king uninvited. The king did reach out his golden scepter, which gave her the opportunity to talk to him in an official capacity. In kind of a roundabout way, Esther, in front of both the king and Haman, made a plea for the Jewish people - including herself. 


That is when the king discovered she was a Jew. When the king learned of the plot to kill his queen, he became furious. He demanded to know whose idea the plot was. Haman was named as the culprit, which caused the king, in a rage, to leave where they all were.

While the king was gone for what turned out to be a short time, Haman went to Esther to beg for his life. Unfortunately for Haman, the way I read, he tripped, landing right beside where the queen was sitting, making it look like he was attacking her, that happening just as the king re-entered the room.

With even greater anger, the king condemned Haman. Right away, Haman was led to gallows that he had ordered to be built for Mordecai. There Haman was executed by hanging.


Remember that a decree from the king could not be canceled, even by the king himself, so there was going to be an attack on all the Jews of the kingdom on the day set by Haman. However, the king issued a new law, that one giving the Jews the right to fight back on that day, which they did victoriously. By the end, Esther had even more power and wealth and Mordecai was given the second most important position behind the king.


Again, as you have time, read all the Book of Esther. As mentioned, it features drama, intrigue, and strange twists. But for now, two questions.


Concerning for such a time as this, are you in such a time? Are you in a circumstance where God has placed you to do His will?


Actually, as long as we are where God wants us to be, “for such a time as this” applies to each one of us. It may not be as dramatic as what has been discussed in this message. God may not be calling You to save an entire race. He most certainly is not calling to give birth to the Savior. Mary already took care of that.


But if it is God’s work that is to be done, if it is His will that is to be obeyed, whether in your family or at work or at school or with your neighbors or your friends or serving right here at church, it is important.


Ask for God’s help to know what He wants you to do. I will ask the same thing for myself. And know that when He tells you and when He tells me, it does mean He has put you and me and us right where we need to be for such a time as this.


Today’s closing song is a little ditty I found online. It is For Such a Time as This by Tom Blakely.


For such a time as this,

For such a time as this,
Who knows whether you have come

For such a time as this?


To glorify your God,

To glorify your God,

All things work that you might serve

To glorify your God.


He put you in this place,

He put you in this place,

In His will, right here, right now

He put you in this place. 


For such a time as this,

For such a time as this,
Who knows whether you have come

For such a time as this?


Lord, throughout the Bible you have put people in places they needed to be to carry out Your will and plan. As we have discussed today, not always have Your people been eager to be chosen, but the ones we have talked about were obedient to You.


Even now You call each of us for such a time as this. Even though we may question Your call, help us to answer it by serving in whatever ways You see fit. Whether in some spectacular ways or in unseen ways, we want Your will to be done. Thank You for entrusting us with our portion of Your work. Help us to be brave and wise and dedicated enough to do what You call us to do. Thank You. Amen.


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