By Elizabeth Prata
I’m just in awe of the Lord these days. I sit stunned, day after day, at the news of the hour. We are living in the last days, the end of time. We have been since Jesus ascended and will continue to until the rapture and we are gathered up and glorified.
Therefore in addition to studying the Bible and watching for His return as we are commanded, we also should ponder His plan and providence of His decision to station us here, now, for such a time as this. Whatever time we are living in.
Mordecai said to Esther, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Now, we do not all have the terrible privilege of being the vehicle from which and through which God Himself brings deliverance to an entire people, as Esther was, but we do need to be mindful of the weight of time and the fact that God deliberately chose to put us here in this time, now. Do we take the time to thank Him? To ponder our role in these last days? To ask and seek His face as to why and what it is He wants us to do that is particular to this time, as opposed to other centuries He could have elected for us to dwell?
Gill’s Exposition of the Bible explains of the Esther verse, “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? he intimates that he believed that the providence of God had raised her to that dignity, that she might be an instrument of saving his people in the time of their distress; and this he said to encourage her to make the experiment.”
Isn’t that phrase, “God raised her to that dignity” a wonderful and at the same time, a terrifying thing to consider? We each have a dignity to perform in His name and for His name.
Wesley’s Notes goes further: “We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are? And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip.”
For what end, my Lord and my God? For what end do you seek to have me serve in these last days?
And my favorite, Matthew Henry’s Commentary punctuates the Esther verse with this comment:
“We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king’s affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God’s goodness in the favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter.”
Yes, we are prone to shrink from service that carries with it discomfort, dishonor, persecution, or even death. But shrink we must not do! We are put here for a service to Him that will allow Him to shine His goodness all the brighter.
There is no doubt that we are enduring terrible pressures of the days. Sometimes it feels that our shoulders seem unequal to the task of carrying them. But then, we do not have to carry these pressures! The Lord’s yoke is easy and His burden is light, if we but cast our cares upon Him. His shoulders will carry the world’s government (Isaiah 9:6). He carried the cross on His shoulders on the way to Calvary, and He placed all the sins of the people on His shoulders while He was ON that cross. He seeks and finds one lost sheep whilst the other 99 are grazing on the hill, and when He finds the lost one, puts it on His shoulders and carries it home to much rejoicing. (Luke 15:3). He can bear all things. And through Him, we can bear the days, too.
Back to Esther. When Mordecai tells Esther she may have been put here for such a time as this, what Mordecai is really doing is affirming Divine sovereignty. Let us rest in that.