God’s Sovereign Hand

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? Esther 14:4

Do you ever have moments when you feel small and insignificant? Can you understand why some individuals might feel as if no one even cares about them at all or even notices they are in the world? How sad for them not to know how much God does!

They could use a study on the book of Esther. It is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible. In fact, it is unique in that God’s name is never once mentioned, yet His sovereignty and faithfulness to His people is seen throughout the story.

It is more intriguing than any book you could read, or any movie you would ever see. It is a story of drama, romance, courage, faith, and obedience. And it illustrates, without a doubt, that you are significant to God and that He has a purpose for your life. You may feel powerless and expendable, or even unworthy of His love and grace, but in God’s eyes, you are important and necessary. The person you are, even with your conceived or real limitations, might make you perfect for the role God needs or wants you to fulfill. To paraphrase the verse above:  “Who knows but that you may have been born just for some particular moment in time to carry out God’s divine providence?” What a humbling thought!

Esther was placed in a position to be queen in the Persian Empire for her moment in God’s plan. According to Scripture, during King Xerxes rule around 475 BC, he held a huge banquet for everyone in his kingdom. When he became drunk with the men, he ordered his beautiful wife, Queen Vashti, to appear before them wearing her beautiful crown (some scholars interpret this to mean wearing ONLY her crown and nothing more. Hhm!) But she refused, so as punishment, he banished her from the palace.

To choose a new queen, he held a beauty contest. (Before a candidate could come before the king, she had to complete 12 months of beauty treatments, 6 months with oil of myrrh and 6 with perfumes and cosmetics. Can you imagine, ladies? Then she would spend one night with the king, and then be returned to a harem with an eunuch until the decision was made. Hhm again!)  The king chose Esther.

On the advice of her uncle Mordecai, her guardian, she kept secret her Jewish heritage, even after their marriage. The king’s prime minister, Haman, ordered everyone to bow down to him. But when Mordecai, who came to the palace gate every morning to try to hear some news about Esther, refused to do so because of his Jewish faith, Haman decreed that all Jews would be killed on a certain date.

Mordecai, through messengers, urged Esther to go before the king and plead for the lives of their people. Esther at first refused, because it was a rule of law that anyone who went before the king without being summoned would be killed. Mordecai reminded her that she and her people would perish under the Jewish death decree if she remained silent. And as he said above, “and who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” 

She finally told him to ask their people to fast and pray, and she would go before the king. She answered, “If I perish, I perish.” 

The king received her out of his love for her, granted her wish that her people be saved and ordered Haman to be killed. So on the day intended for their destruction, the Jewish people were saved. (This day known as Purim is still celebrated on the Jewish calendar.) What courage and faith Esther had displayed!

Is that not the most fascinating story? And it certainly makes one think about the choices we sometimes have to make. Do we see God’s hand in our circumstances, or are these things merely coincidental?

We may have been given a great responsibility with whatever position or honor we might have, whether it is in our family, job, church, school, neighborhood, or with our talents or abilities. We may need to ask ourselves,” Would God have me act, and is this my moment in time to make a difference?”  We are told to pray, obey, and act by faith. Like Esther, this could be our time!

Prayer

Dear God, thank you for the stories from your Word to teach us and help us to understand that your hand is often in our lives to carry out your purpose. Help us to seek your divine providence for our lives and take advantage of the opportunities before us. Amen

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