Summary: 1. Focus on your family right now (2:19-20). 2. Boldly decide to make a difference (2:21-23). 3. Pray for a Godly government (3:1-2). 4. Be prepared for persecution (3:3-15). 5. Have complete confidence in the Lord (3:2).
For Such a Time as This
Part 3: Great Help for Hard Times
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 3, 2012
*There are dark days in the life of every nation. Some of us here tonight remember Pearl Harbor. Living in Florida in the sixth grade, I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when we were on the brink of nuclear war with Russia. And I remember that Friday in the seventh grade, when President Kennedy was assassinated. Of course, we remember 9-11, and all of us have dark days that touch family and friends.
*Dark days are the setting for the Scripture tonight. And this story can help us get ready for the hard times we may have to face. What should we do?
1. First: Focus on your family.
*One of the best ways to prepare for hard times is to focus on your family right now. The relationship between Mordecai and Esther reminds us of this great need.
*Here in Esther 2:19, Mordecai sat in the king’s gate. That means he was promoted to a place of leadership and respect as one of the king’s officers. There was probably no way Mordecai could have received that promotion without Esther’s help. But there was no way Esther would have been queen without Mordecai’s help.
*This was a family that cared for each other. Remember that Esther’s older cousin Mordecai raised her as his own daughter. Esther 2:7 told us that: “Mordecai had brought up . . . Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.”
*Then vs. 20 tells us the same thing that we saw back up in vs. 10: “Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.”
*Mordecai cared for Esther, and she cared deeply for him. So in vs. 20 when he advised her to keep quiet about being a Jew, Esther respected Mordecai’s wisdom. She obeyed his command, just like she did when she was a little girl.
*Mordecai and Esther had the kind of relationship that God wants to see in all of our families: A relationship grounded on rock-solid love and trust.
*How can we get ready for hard times? -- Focus on your family right now.
2. And boldly decide to make a difference.
*In vs. 21-23, Mordecai is the example for the kind of courage we need.
21. In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22. So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name.
23. And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
*In these verses there was treachery and rebellion against King Xerxes. And Mordecai had a choice to make.
-Would he keep silent? -- Or would he take a stand to do the right thing?
-Mordecai boldly decided to make a difference.
-And that’s what God wants us to do.
*We have to care enough to make a difference;
-Care enough to take a risk;
-Care enough to get involved as the Lord leads, in our church, our community, in our society, our nation.
*God wants us to DO something.
-Take action, even when it means taking a risk to do the right thing.
*How can we get ready for hard times? -- Boldly decide to make a difference.
3. And pray for a Godly government.
*Esther 3:1-2 reminds us that we need to pray for a Godly government:
1. After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.
2. And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
*The same king Xerxes who was wise enough to choose Esther as Queen, was foolish enough to promote the evil Haman as the second highest ruler in the land. And Xerxes did promote Haman.
*This foolish decision reminds us that we can never fully rely on government.
-There is great evil in the world.
-And it seems to gravitate to the halls of government.
*I deeply believe that overall, we have the best government in the history of the world. That’s because it was founded for the most part by men who knew the Lord, and sought to follow His ways.