Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Peter Langbroek
She walked afraid but not uncertain, down the grand hallways to the kingÕs house. Her beauty was captivating, unlike any woman in the kingdom. She looked dazzling as she approached the inner room across the kingÕs house. The royal robe she wore was worn for few occasions; its gold and gems sparkled. Its embroidery was flawless, its value priceless.

She was not like this yesterday or the day before. Then she had rubbed ashes into her hair, got the dirtiest rags she could find. Her servants did likewise. For two days they didnÕt eat. She and her servants must have looked strange in their ornate room. Surrounded by luxury, the women wept and wailed, bowing to the floor.

They had prayed for Esther this third morning. Esther had gotten up early with her servants to dress herself in her finest wardrobe to meet the king.

She kept walking. There was the threshold of the inner room. She looked down, then ahead, as she stepped over it. She knew there were strong men with sharp axes ready to obey the kingÕs wishes. She knew of the kingÕs violent temper that exploded without warning. She was his most important wife, but she not seen him for more than a month. What will he do?

The words of her cousin Mordecai had convinced her to do this. She had wanted to keep her Jewishness a secret as her uncle had always told her to. After all, if it had been known, she might never have been chosen queen. But now Mordecai told her to reveal herself to the king and plead with him to change the edict, the edict to allow any Jew to be killed in the kingdom of Persia.

ÒIf I die, I dieÓ she reminded herself. ÒFor such a time as thisÓ were her uncleÕs words which encouraged her as she approached the door. There was only one hope as she turned to face the king, sitting across the entrance from the inner room. It was his golden scepter.

She walked to the entrance. She stood, and looked bravely at King Xerxes. ÒFor such a timeÉÓ He looked at her. ÒFor such a time as thisÉÓ The men with axes looked at her. ÒFor such a time as thisÉÓ All talking stopped. ÒFor such a time as thisÉÓ It was his decision. ÒFor such a time as thisÉÓ

ÒAnd it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Then said the king unto her, ÒWhat do you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you up to half the kingdom!Ó (Esther 5:2)

Cousin Mordecai was right! ÒFor such a time as thisÓ God had made her queen to deliver His people from the planned terror of wicked Haman.

Boys and girls, the words Òfor such a timeÓ rings in my mind as IÕm sure it did for Esther. IÕve given you a small taste of that splendid story in the Bible, and I encourage you to read the book of Esther this January 1999.

Esther did not want to risk her life to meet the king until her cousin Mordecai said, ÒDo not think in your heart that you will escape in the kingÕs 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 fatherÕs house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?Ó (Esther 4:14)

She had only one thing to hope for and to pray for: the caring, upholding, and ruling act of God that would ensure her deliverance from the wrath of King Xerxes. She could not wish for luck or secure her safety through any other means. What she did was offensive to Persian law. To stand before a king in her royal robe without permission, ensured no mercy. She only depended on the mercy of God.

Today, in January 1999, we are Òin such a time as this,Ó in a place, a position to fulfil a role that God has appointed us, whatever circumstances weÕre in. There are many roles, but there is only one way, which the book of Esther makes very clear. That way is to give yourself up, to surrender to the mercies of God Òfor such a time as this,Ó whatever the cost.

Esther walked down the lavish halls to risk her safety for her people, and God gave her deliverance. What Mordecai said to Esther, the Lord Jesus said in a fuller way to all His disciples: ÒIf any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find itÓ (Matthew 16:24, 25).

Does it sound scary to give yourself up? ÒFor such a time as thisÓ Jesus gave Himself, even unto the death of the cross. On the third morning God raised Him up from the dead. ÒFor such a time as thisÓ God calls you to either begin following Jesus or to continue to follow Him ÒFor such a time as thisÓ God the Father will send His Son to return to judge the world. ÒBehold, now is the day of salvationÓ (1 Corinthians 6:2).

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