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Summary: For Esther the wrong time turned into the right time. The time is right in our lives to take action for God.

Someday is Today

Esther 4:1-14

May 11, 2008

Do you remember that old Dr. John song . . .

I was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time

I was sayin’ the right things, but I must have used the wrong line

Have you ever been there? Like Dr. John, have you ever felt you were

in the RIGHT place at the WRONG time?

Or maybe it was the WRONG place at the RIGHT time.

And we are thrilled when we realize we are in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time.

But lots of times, we end up thinking we are in the WRONG at the WRONG time.

Maybe like that cat, YIKES!!

or how about that football official, ouch!

And, I’ve heard of seaplanes, but didn’t think they park underwater.

You’ve been there before, haven’t you? For whatever reason, you end up being in the wrong spot at the wrong time and then you have to deal with the consequences.

My guess is, Esther’s life was a series of those moments. In fact, the book of Esther is a series of wrong places, wrong times and right places and right times.

On this Mother’s Day, we are going to focus on Esther. I can imagine her feeling she was in the wrong place at the wrong time . . . and then again, sometimes it was the right time, but have you ever noticed that the right time can shift into the wrong time; and the wrong time can shift into the right time.

Esther is a wonderful story and we’re going to quickly go through those first few chapters. Esther is like a soap opera; and I encourage you to read the book of Esther sometime this week. It’s a great story with lots of interesting characters.

In the first chapter, King Xerxes who is the king over Babylon is holding this huge, massive display of his wealth. For 180 days he’s inviting everybody to come and see how much splendor he has. Talk about a long party . . . 6 months of partying, and he was not done. Then when that party was over, he throws another banquet. This one lasts for 7 days. He tells the steward of the banquet, “Let people drink whatever they want to drink, as much or as little. Feed them whatever they want to eat; from the least to the greatest, everyone is invited.”

Now what we know from history is that Xerxes was getting ready to invade another neighboring country, and if he could get these guys drunk he could get them signed up or at least, show them his power. Eventually, “King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine,” (that’s a nice way of saying he had just a bit too much partying), and he asked for Queen Vashti to come in and show off her beauty and his power. She said, “No.”

Well, you didn’t say no to the king, and Xerxes was furious, so he gathered his top advisors and asked, “What do we do about this?” They agreed, “this isn’t good because if your wife doesn’t have to listen to you, our wives don’t have to listen to us.” In fact in verse 18 it says: “There will be no end of disrespect and discord.” So Vashti is banished and that’s just chapter one. For Vashti, she was in the right place, but it was the wrong time.

In chapter two we find the search for a new queen is going on. It’s kind of like American Idol. Esther, who is being raised by her cousin, Mordecai, is the one who gets chosen to be queen. So chapter two has all these wonderful things going on for Esther. She wins the king’s favor, she gets the crown, there are robes and white horses, more parties and applause. It’s a great thing for Esther. Now Mordecai, tells her, “don’t tell them you’re Jewish. That won’t go very well.” Esther agrees. For Esther, she is in the right place at the right time.

Now in chapter three we get introduced to another person, his name is Haman. Haman is the second in command to the king. When he would walk down the street, people would bow down, they would give their respect to him. One guy didn’t do that, it happened to be Mordecai. He felt it was wrong to bow down to another person. He would only pay that kind of respect to God. And so someone told someone who told someone who told someone, who told Haman.

Haman was angry and found out Mordecai was a Jew, so he works it out with the king, telling him, “We’ve got all these foreigners living in our land and we ought to destroy them and take back their property.” It sounded good to the king, so they pick a certain day of a certain month and the law is set that all the Jews in Babylon are to be annihilated. As you might imagine, this distresses Mordecai.

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