Summary: A Look at God’s perfect place and time for each of us.
For Such A Time As This
October 2nd, 2005
Beartown Road Alliance Church
I cannot tell you how excited I have become about this ministry in the few short days that we have been here. We have had an opportunity to meet many of you and are overwhelmed with the expressions of love that we have received from you. One of the things I remember the elders telling us when we first visited back in June was how wonderful the people here were and we would definitely have to agree to that.
I can’t really describe what this week has been like other than to say that I really feel that I am doing now, what God has created me to do. There’s still nervousness, there’s still some uncertainty (and those are good and healthy) but more than that there is a quiet assurance that comes from knowing that God has me where he wants me to be.
And this is what I have been looking forward to since the day that I talked with the elders and accepted their invitation and God’s call to come and be the pastor of Beartown Road Alliance Church. All of the packing, the good-byes, the unpacking, and the preparation have been leading up to this point, when a pastor gets the privilege of doing what every pastor loves to do, opening up the Word of God with his congregation and beginning the process of learning and growing together. I had to pace myself this week. I’m used to only having the opportunity to preach once in a while and so I would try and get in as much Truth as I could into my message because I knew it would be a while before I got to speak again, I had to keep reminding my self this week that I get to do this again next week and the next week so I can slow down a little and just enjoy the process of teaching God’s Word. It’s a big task to try and figure out what text to use for your first sermon in a new place. As I prayed and asked God to lay something on my heart that would allow me to share His word as well as my heart to you this morning, I kept coming back to the story of Esther.
We’re going to look at the book of Esther this morning and I want you to turn to the 4th chapter and verses 12 -14. Keep your finger in that passage, we’re going to come back to it in just a moment. First, I wanted to give you an overview of the story that brings us up to the point we want to look at in chapter 4.
This is a story that has it all, good guys, bad guys, kings, queens, treachery, deception, and heroism.
- King Xerxes is the ruler of the Persian Empire.
- Throws a Party with the express purpose of showing off the extent of his riches and wealth. 180 DAYS!
- At the end of this time He sends for his wife to show off her beauty for all to see. She refuses to come and Xerxes has her banished from the Kingdom. In that day and age you did not approach the King unless called, and once you were called you didn’t dare refuse.
- A king must have his queen so the best and the most beautiful of all the women in the land were given beauty treatments for a year and brought before the King. 6 months of oil and myrrh and six months of perfume and cosmetics, ladies, how would you like to spend a year being pampered like that? If you’ve seen the show American Idol, that’s the kind of contest this was, you start with hundreds, they show their stuff and are eliminated one by one until only one remains. The prize was much better in this case though, it was a kingdom.
- One of these girls was Esther. Esther was a Jew who was under the care of her cousin Mordecai, and following his instructions, was keeping her identity as a Jew concealed.
- Just a quick note to catch you up on Old Testament History, the Jews were taken into captivity by the Babylonians and the best and brightest Jews were taken to be retrained and reprogrammed in Babylon. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were among those exiles. Babylon was defeated by the King Cyrus the Persian and the kingdom was passed to his son Darius. This is the King who threw Daniel into the Lions Den. Darius passed the Kingdom to Xerxes and the Jews, though many had returned to Jerusalem, were still under the reign and control of Persia. That’s how Esther came to be in this situation.