Summary: How God can use us in extraordinary ways even in bad circumstances
Esther - Preparing to be used “For Such a Time as This”
Have you ever faced a time in your life where your circumstances just seemed plain awful? Like things could not get any worse, only to get worse.
Maybe you are in a marriage where it seems your spouse just doesn’t care about you.
Maybe you have faced death in your family and think, I just can’t do this.
Maybe you are in a financial hardship that is really no fault of your own and you wonder, “God, what are you doing?”
Maybe you are facing medical conditions or problems that seem just overwhelming and you think, “God, where are you?”
I want to tell you that often in the midst of difficult circumstances, God is busy working behind the scenes and wants to use you do the extraordinary even in the midst of your circumstance, even if we can’t see Him working.
Often, it is only after the fact that we see His Mighty hand.
So today, I would like to help you to be prepared to be used by God for a time such as that, because I can almost guarantee that you are going to face some difficult circumstances.
We are going to take a look at Esther.
You can begin turning there now (p.354 in pew Bibles)
It is right before Job which is right before Psalms which is in the middle of your Bible. Open to the middle and go left a couple of books.
As we take a look at some of the circumstances of the life of Esther, we will find they weren’t so good, but God had a plan and used her in the midst of those circumstances, just like He would like to use you in the midst of your circumstances.
So as we go through this story, I hope to give you some insight into what is going on so we might understand this story a bit better and learn how we might be prepared to be used by God “for such a time as this.”
Let’s being in Esther 1:1-5, 7-8
1 This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.
4 For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. 5 When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest, who were in the citadel of Susa… 7 Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. 8 By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.
Ok, let’s stop there a moment.
Here we have a king that is quite full of himself, as many kings were. From a worldly standpoint, he had good reason to be full of himself. He was ruler of a huge empire.
After he became king, he put down a couple of revolts in Babylon and Egypt and had hopes of conquering Greece.
It might be for this reason that he decides to display his great wealth to all his nobles and officials, his military leaders, as well as the princes and nobles of other provinces, so they would be with him in his quest to defeat Greece.
So, for 6 months, he had all the powers of the nations of his empire partying and perhaps talking up this military mission.
At the end of 6 months, he had a week long closing ceremony that would rival any Olympics ceremonies and spent liberally on his guests including indulging in great amounts of wine.
So, here are all these macho military men and leaders of areas of Xerxes empire, drunk and getting drunker for a whole week. Not a pretty site.
Many of you know how rude and crude men, or anyone for that matter, can get when they are drunk.
Well this is the situation, the current Queen Vashti finds herself in.
Now she is giving a banquet for the ladies while the guys are boozing it up.
10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him-(he names them)- 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.