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For Such A Time As This

For if you altogether hold your peace at this time,
then shall relief and deliverance arise to the Jews
from another place; but you and your father's house
shall be destroyed: and who knows whether you are
come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
(Esther 4:14)

As Christians around the country continue to grapple with the Supreme Court's recent decision, many feel like the whole country has gone crazy. We're living in dangerous days, in a time when God's followers are under attack. We're living in a corrupt nation, and among pagan people who choose not to acknowledge God as Sovereign; people who do not care about God's word, and refuse to obey His commandments. We are living in the midst of a hedonistic and materialistic people whose hearts are far from God.

And as I see the pride and arrogance of this nation who have turned their backs on God, I understand one thing: Nothing's changed. Different years, different geographical areas, different people, but their rebellious, sinful hearts are still the same. They refuse to accept God's word as truth, and refuse to accept Him as Sovereign.

The book of Esther is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is unusual in several ways. First, it's one of only two books in the Bible named for a woman, the other being the book of Ruth *. The second thing that really sets it apart from every other book in the Bible is that there is no overt mention of God; He is never mentioned by any of His names in the entire book.

There are veiled references, however; for instance in 4:16, where Esther tells her uncle to fast for her, and that sheand her servants would fast also. In the Jewish culture, prayer and fasting went hand in hand, and they prayed to the Lord God Almighty alone. So there are veiled references to God, even though He is not mentioned directly. However, the entire book showcases exactly how God is always sovereign over the affairs of humankind, directing even the most seemingly insignificant details of our lives, even when He is unseen and unheard.

When we look at the world around us, at the sinful, rebelious people who refuse to acknowledge God, and the crazy things going on right now, we have to realize that nothing happens in our world that He is not in complete control of. We may wonder why He is allowing this or what is the reason for that, especially when we feel that our beliefs, our families, our culture, and everything we hold dear is under attack. That is surely how Esther must've felt. Haman signed the proclamation that would anihilate her and her fellow Jews. Their beliefs and culture, their very lives, were in grave danger, simply because of one madman's machinations. Yet God had a purpose for it. And God turned it around, from what surely would have been an overwhelming loss to a rousing victory for Esther's family and her people.

We must remember, when we feel like we are fighting a losing battle, to look to God for our deliverance. Remember that God has placed us here, just like Esther, "for such a time as this". When we begin to worry about what our children and grandchildren will have to deal with, remember that He also placed them where He wanted them, "for such a time" as they will be living in. Like Esther, God has a plan and a purpose for every thing that happens in our lives. We just have to be like Esther, and trust in God no matter the outcome.

(* Historical note: The Douay-Rheims, or Catholic version of the Bible does contain one other book named after a woman, the book of Judith. However, it is one of the books of the Apocrypha, which is not recognized by most Protestants as being part of the canon.)


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