If you have read the book of Esther, you will likely recall how King Xeres threw a big party that lasted for 7 days. Wine was flowing freely to everyone. Queen Vashti also had a party for all the women. On the 7th day, King Xeres called for Queen Vashti to come to him, but she refused to go. Consequently, after consulting with others about the law regarding the matter, the King issued a decree that Queen Vashti could never again enter his presence.
Later the King’s attendants recommended that he organize across the whole land a search for beautiful young virgins with the goal being to find him a new Queen. These virgins were to be brought to Susa and groomed for a year; and, among that group was Esther, the adopted daughter of a Jew named Mordecai. Chapter 2:17 says: “Now the King was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her Queen instead of Vashti.”
Mordecai discovered that two of the Kings’ officers were conspiring to kill the King. He passed this information to Esther and she passed it along to the King, giving Mordecai credit for it. You should note what is said then in chapter 2:23b: “All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the King.” (The importance of this will be revealed later.)
At some point Haman, an official of highest rank to the King, became enraged after it was brought to his attention that Mordecai refused to bow to him. After discovering Mordecai was a Jew, Haman came up with a plan to destroy all Jews in the kingdom. A day was scheduled for the purge and the edict was issued all across the land.
Mordecai got word of this plan to Esther and urged her to go to the King to beg for her people to be saved. She sent her attendant back to Mordecai to explain that if you approach the King uninvited, it will result in death, unless he finds favor with you and extends his scepter. Mordecai’s reply in chapter 4:13-14 says: “Do not think that because you are in the King’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.” So she sent word back for he and the other Jews in the city to fast and pray for her for 3 days, while she and her maids did the same. Verse 16c says: “’When this is done, I will go to the King, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’”
As planned, she did go to the King and he did extend his scepter to her and asked what her request was, offering her up to half of the kingdom. So she invited the King and Haman to dine with her. (She was very clever and was setting up Haman really well, to resolve not only the issue for the Jews, but to rid them of Haman and his evil.)
Haman had called together his wife and friends and told them about Mordecai and they cooked up a plan to build huge gallows and hang Mordecai the next day. But that night, the King could not sleep and ordered the recorded chronicles be brought and read to him. What should be in that reading? The story about how Mordecai had reported the conspiracy to murder him. The King asked what had been done for Mordecai for that act of loyalty and was told nothing had been done.
The next morning, with the King wanting to honor Mordecai, he asked Haman what should be done for a man he wants to honor. Haman thinking it was himself came up with some wonderful honors. Then the King told Haman to go out and find Mordecai and do all those things for him. After he did all the King told him to do for Mordecai, Haman was escorted in to dine with the King and Esther.
Once again the King asked Esther what her request was. Chapter 7:3-4a says: “Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor with you, O King, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life – this is my petition. And spare my people – this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation.’” She then revealed to him the plot to destroy the Jews was from Haman. The King ordered Haman hung on his own gallows; and an edict was issued across the land that saved and protected all the Jews in his kingdom.
The Jews celebrated this occasion with the blessing of Mordecai and Queen Esther. It was established as a permanent day of celebration (Purim) for the Jews forever. (I read online that “Purim is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Israel.”)
So let us just consider these things. What if…Esther had not been selected as one of the virgins? What if…Esther had not found favor with the King and not been made Queen? What if…she had been too afraid to approach the King for fear of being killed? How would this story have ended?
But, she was selected, she did find favor, she was made Queen and she was not afraid. I believe that part of the reason she was not fearful was because of what else Mordecai said to her in chapter 4:14 that says: “’For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’”
So….”relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place”. Someone else would have to be found to get the job done. Next it says “but you and your father’s family will perish.” It sounds to me like their generations would be wiped out.
Mordecai then asks Esther “..who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” To me, it seems to be saying that this is the job that God has appointed her to do and that no one else can fulfill it exactly in the way that she could. She was a unique person, in a unique position, at a unique time, to accomplish a unique objective.
We are all very unique, in many ways. That makes it all the more important for us to have ears to hear, eyes to see, a mind to understand and a heart to believe who it is God has created us to be and what it is He has created us to do. We may have a very unique purpose to accomplish on this earth. We just might be the absolute best person that can minister to someone words they need to hear – words of encouragement, words of healing, words for salvation. Do we want to miss that opportunity out of fear? We need to pray for boldness that we can move forward into that special position God has for us – for such a time as this!
Written by Karran Martin
October 3, 2018
4 thoughts on “If Not You Then Who?”
Another great blog. You have a way of writing that makes it easy for me to understand. Thank you so much.
Mary, I’m not so highly educated that I can use big flowery words – so I just use plain-speak. Ha! Thanks for your continued support!
I’ve often heard we all have a gift, my response has been “I have never figured out what my gift is. Perhaps I’ve used it the way God intended, or he’s waiting for me to be the person he designed me to be, then I can accomplish what his plan for me has always been. Is it for me to know ahead of time, or I will know at the Right time? Only time will tell.
Anita, there are a lot of different spiritual gifts according to the scriptures, but for the purpose of this moment, I would suggest you check out Romans 12:1-8 (particularly 6-8) in whichever translation of the Bible you prefer. It tells of 7 Motivational Gifts that might be ours.
I’m going to quote here how The Message Translation puts Romans 12:1-8:
1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
Here is a link to a site where you can take a quick test that will help give you an idea of what your strongest gifts are. I’ve taken these tests before & found them to be very accurate if I answer as honestly as possible. Check it out. (I just took it & found it again, very accurate.)