Summary: Using the Story of Esther, this sermon describes God's providence and our need to realize that we are where we are not by accident but by God's design, therefore faith and prayer is needed to face the current cultural challenges we face today.
Faith – In a Time Such as This
Introduction: I want to take you back to the Time of Esther. It's interesting that God's name is not mentioned one time in this book, but you would never realize it unless someone told you, because his presence is felt all the way through it. Like seeing a picture of George Washington, you don't need to see his name beneath his portrait, to know who it is.
It was a time when the leaders of the nation particularly the king were selfish, wicked and immoral. The nation was indecent, immodest, and debauched, the culture determined life was cheap and was inclined to drunkenness. As one commentator put it about this age “Sin was in the saddle” And there is no doubt about it.
Not only were they wicked & immoral but they were dangerous. They were rash, especially King Xerxes – He was arrogant. He and other kings before him, were seen and believed to be a god themselves. The former queen was banished for not coming to him when He called for her to dance in front of him and his friends. After queen Vashti was deposed, the virgins were brought before Xerxes and he chose Esther to be his next queen. Mordecai, Esther's cousin who raised her as his daughter, has drawn the ire of a pompous man named Haman for not bowing down to him, and Haman convinces the king to kill all the Jews, on the 13th day of the 12th month. Mordecai can't be in the palace with Esther but secretly receives message from her attendant, Hatach. Mordecai tells Esther to plead with the king to spare the Jews. Only one problem, if anyone goes to the inner court without being summoned there they must die – unless He extends the golden scepter, then mercy is granted. But considering the state of depravity that is next to impossible.
Transition: And that is where we begin our message this morning. Mordecai sends a message back to Esther...
I. A Time of Purpose
“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 4:14
At first Mordecai warns Esther that her position as the queen will not save her. If the king didn't kill her because she was a Jewess, then God might do to her what she fears from the king for not fulfilling her purpose. That is, not interceding for her people, more importantly God's people.
Mordecai is essentially saying 'maybe it isn't a coincidence that you, a Jewess, has become the queen. Perhaps it is because you ARE a Jewess, that you have become queen.
God not only knew Esther had the beauty to be chosen to be queen, and the charm to remain in the king's favor, but also the faith to carry out his plan of salvation for the Jews.
Why did God put you where you are today? There is a divine reason that you were born in this generation and not your parents; a divine reason for you to live in America and not over seas; a divine reason for you to be in this church, in this town, and in this state! And there is some divine purpose to be fulfilled – so when an opportunity presents itself don't let it pass by. God made you for such a time as this!
Esther had become queen of Persia for such a ruthless time. While the Jews were living under Haman's death warrant. They were to be executed throughout Susa. And there is but one woman that could change their fate, the queen.
If you're going through a difficult time today, I ask you to consider that it may be that you are the only one who could go through it. “Why me?” You may be the only one in your family that has the strength to carry that burden. You may be the only one at work that has the temperament to calm the angry tensions from co-workers. You may be the only person who can reason with a stubborn rebel.
Susa was in what is called today, Iran, where ISIS and other Islamic terrorists are blowing up churches and beheading Christians. Christians are marked for death in the same region today that the Jews were 480 years before Jesus
And what about us Christians in America? We may not be getting slaughtered by our persecutors like our brethren in Iran, Iraq, Kenya, or elsewhere but we are being alienated and demonized. If you don't put your stamp of approval on the Homosexual agenda – You're labeled a bigot, hater, homophobe, or worse. And we are bombarded with one tidal wave of perversion after another. We are continually pounded with filth and blasphemy. Can I stand it? Can I take it? Is it possible to fulfill my purpose in such a generation as this? YES!