Thursday, April 29, 2010

Such a Time As This

"For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this. " Esther 4: 14 NRSV

This is probably the most well-known scripture from the book of Esther: for such a time as this. But do we really understand what this means? It sounds like Esther is to become the savior of her people (we know this will happen) but there is some danger to her royal person that is suggested as well. Mordecai has asked Esther to go before the King and ask for her people to be spared.

Esther responds with a reality check. Esther has not been invited into the King's presence. To come before the King without being invited, meant certain death unless the King chose to hold out his golden scepter. In addition, Esther has not even been invited to see (visit his bed?) the king for a month. There is no guarantee that the King will hold out the scepter if Esther has in some way displeased him.

However, Mordecai reminds her that she is in danger of losing her life, anyway, when the decree to annihilate all Jews is carried out. He suggests that Esther has been placed on the throne by God so that she can save God's people. Keeping silent will not help her in any way. If she doesn't do it, God will raise up someone else.

Just because you are placed in a position for a particular time to help someone, this doesn't always mean that you will come away unscathed. Your life may not be on the line, but your livelihood could be. Or your reputation. Friendships could be damaged. Any influence or control that you have over others or situations could diminish. God may want to use you, but if you remain silent, God will find another way.

God, have I been placed where I am for such a time as this?

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

No comments:

Post a Comment