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Do you ever read Scripture and forget that we have the gift of hindsight? I often read stories, like Esther’s, and think “of course she went before the king, it was all going to work out great.” But the truth is, Esther had no idea how her story would unfold or what God had planned for her. She was simply an orphaned, Jewish girl who never dreamed she would end up being queen, let alone save an entire nation.
So, we get to chapter four of Esther’s story and her cousin Mordecai has just informed her of Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jewish people and asks her to go before the king and plead with him for favor on behalf of her people. However, this was much easier said than done.
Esther shares that “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live.” (vs. 11). It had been thirty days since she had been summoned to the king so if she did this, she would have to put her life on the line.
This crossroads of a decision, however, put Esther in an interesting position. Mordecai tells her that “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (vs. 14). God was going to rescue His people, whether Esther decided to take part or not. But if she didn’t, then she would have missed out on the opportunity to be a part of the miraculous things God was doing.
Esther was indeed placed in the palace for just such a time. She may not have been able to see it, but God’s providence was just as comprehensive, wise, and holy then as it is today. His calling and timing are no mistake and He has placed each and every one of us here and now for such a time as this. Our lives and circumstances may seem totally out of control and even terrifying, but like Esther, we can have courage, comfort, and peace as we rest in the assurance of God’s sovereignty.
God’s will can’t be thwarted by our refusal to participate. His plan will be carried out whether we choose to take part or not. But if we do take part, if we step into the unknown just like Esther did, then one day we will get to look back and see exactly how incredibly sovereign and good God was every step of the way. We’ll get to say that to matter how high the cost was, we got a front row seat to His faithfulness.