Summary: A look at the life of Esther, and how we today can seize the moment in time that God places us in to make a dynamic impact!
It is always a privilege to worship together, and I always consider it a privilege when we have a few moments to share together from God’s Word. In many ways, life is a collection of moments put together through the years. Some of these moments are fairly routine and do not seem to carry all that great a significance: brushing your teeth, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes. Other moments are cherished for life: the birth of a child, a wedding day, a graduation. Life is a chain of these individual moments, linked together through the years.
In January of 2003 I left behind a seven-year career in automobile and homeowners insurance claims. Rather distressing moments in people’s lives. When you report an accident in your home or car, the insurance companies ask you to provide just a brief explanation of what happened, and the description of those moments can be quite insightful. Sometimes we would need a more detailed and thorough explanation so we would ask for further narrative from the party. Let me share with you one such description of a life moment from the insurance world.
Read “Think You’ve Had a Bad Day?” (insurance illustration)
What a moment. Let’s spend some time this morning talking about moments. The scripture I want to look at comes from my favorite book in the Bible, and even beyond that, from my favorite chapter in that book.
We had the privilege while living in Texas to visit Chuck Swindoll’s church. An excellent preacher, and he has said, “In these ten chapters, the story has all the ingredients of the traditional short story: a dramatic beginning, a suspenseful plot, a villain, a hero, a damsel in distress, and a surprising twist of events that leads to a climax where right triumphs over wrong, and everybody ‘lives happily ever after.’” To me, this is the most ready for movie, made for TV book in the Bible.
I don’t have a ton of time, so I can’t give you all the details that get you to my favorite chapter, but basically Esther is a Jewish orphan and a distant relative named Mordecai has raised her. In the mean time, Mordecai has developed a grand enemy named Haman. These dudes do not get along. In fact, to truly understand the depth of their animosity, let me encourage you to watch an excellent Biblical documentary and portrayal of their relationship in “The Girl Who Became Queen”, by Veggie Tales. Now, the fact that Mordecai and Haman do not get along is possibly a problem because Haman is the king’s right hand man.
Speaking of the king, his queen has ticked him off. So he has gotten rid of her, needs a new one, conducts an American Idol like search, finds our star Esther, selects her as queen, and brings her into his palace. In short, Esther now in the king’s palace is one of the greatest rags to riches stories ever told or imagined. She was a Jewish orphan girl. Now she is queen of the land.
When we reach chapter four, Haman has found a way to get back at his enemy Mordecai. He has managed to swing a decree by the king that has declared a death sentence on all the Jews. Follow this? The king gets upset with the queen, and so he gets a new one. Haman gets upset with a Jew, and so he has them all killed. Think these two guys need some anger management?
Now, if you are completely lost, don’t sweat it. This is all you need to know. The king is going to kill all the Jews, which would just happen to include all of Esther’s family. But the king doesn’t know Esther is Jewish, and that leaves Esther as the one with access to the king to stop it.
Sounds easy enough, right? Go in; tell the king this is bad, problem solved. Actually, there is one more thing you need to know. If Esther approaches the king to ask him not to kill all the Jews without being summoned by the king, she can be killed. This is the antithesis of Stephen Covey’s win-win model. . .this is a lose-lose proposition.
So here we go. A huge moment in Esther’s life. Decision time. Will she seize the moment, or will she hide and hope God provides another escape? That is where we are in Esther, chapter 4, verse 10 (read through 12).
Now, to understand Esther’s response to Mordecai, be sure you put yourself in her shoes. It is easy to be brave when we are secure, protected, and have nothing at stake. But personalize it. Think about your own life. Are you a moment seizer? Are you able to capture those points in time? Do you live life with a Carpe Diem attitude, ready to seize the day?