For Such A Time As This
Reading: Esther 4
There is a parallel in Esther for today’s encouragement
All that was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
A Unique Period in History
Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of King Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring. 13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenthday of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. 14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. 15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city Shushan was perplexed. Est 3:12-15
This is a UNIQUE PERIOD IN HISTORY,
For the first time ever, the nation of Israel was legally and purposefully appointed for complete destruction. There was an enemy, unknown to the nation, that had set himself against the people, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
SUCH A TIME AS THIS had NEVER come upon all the people of the nation of Israel, who themselves were scattered about all the “hundred and seven and twenty provinces” (Est 1:1).
King Solomon had many centuries earlier written a prophecy concerning what would occur to the nation of Israel if they continued to stray away from the Lord. He wrote God’s words many years before the time came that they would be taken away, and taken into captivity (1 Kings 8:46-50).
Well the day came, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon entered into Jerusalem on several occasions, and did all that the Lord had required of him, to take away the people of the Lord and to place them into captivity.
Jeremiah also tried to warn the people of it, you can read of that in Jeremiah 29, but the people again would not listen, they preferred to believe lies.
It feels like there are many people today just like this.
Even in churches, it seems its only the good things people like to here.
But Paul spoke of a time when Churches will be filled with Pollyanna’s, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim 4:3-4)
Yet the Lord has a good end, he did then, and he does now.
10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jer 29:8-11).
Well the time came and Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet (Dan 9:2), and he sought the Lord by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes (Dan 9:3), that they would return to their land, to “restore and to build Jerusalem”, the temple, the street “and the wall, even in troublous times” (Dan 9:25).
Cyrus was the appointed ruler, spoken of by the prophet Isaiah some 150 years earlier, named by name, known of the Lord though he had not known the Lord (Isa 45:1-5).
It was he who gave the decree and the command to do so as it was revealed to Daniel, whether you read it at the end of the Chronicles or the beginning of Ezra;
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.(2 Chron 36:23)
Well many of the people did return, but not all.
Nevertheless, Scattered among the nations and set to be destroyed, where the people of God at a UNIQUE PERIOD IN HISTORY.
FAST FORWARD 2500 YEARS
We now live in SUCH A TIME AS THIS;
No matter what is being said by many, we are living in a UNIQUE TIME IN HISTORY.
Though there have certainly been many plagues in the past;
Though there has been wealth-destroying events in the past;
Though there have been political and freedom disintegrating efforts in the past;
Though there have been societal divisions in the past;
Though there have been the legal moral disintegrations at many distinct points of world history;
Though there has been the replacement of God with all manner of pagan, mystical idolatry in the past in world history;
And though there have been technological advances leaping above all previous advances in the past, of world history;
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A CONVERGENCE OF ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ANY SINGLE PERIOD OF WORLD HISTORY.
Time will not permit me to go further into the details, this will be a part of the upcoming MAYDAY series, titled “The Time Of The Signs”. I look forward to sharing that with you.
Jesus encouraged us greatly after telling of the trials to come, he simply stated; “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
Beloved, You are living in A UNIQUE PERIOD IN HISTORY.
And so too was Hadassah, also named Esther.
A Unique Person Of History
The daughter of parents who themselves were carried away into Captivity with all the people, she was born in exile and she would become the greatest heroine in the Bible respecting her people Israel.
She truly was the super-hero of her people, her courage and her will and her passion for her people uniquely placed her in a HISTORIC PERIOD in the life of her nation.
Today we seem to be getting used to female heroine’s, but the female hero’s in fiction cannot compare to those of reality;
For some very strange reason, Hollywood and the rabid feminist’s of today, seem to think that the emancipation of women also needs to coincide with the emasculation of men!
But here we have a true hero in Esther, one of the single greatest hero’s of the Bible who delivered ALL HER PEOPLE from certain destruction, because the letters sent into all the provinces were set to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day! (Est 4:13)
Now Mordechai, the much older cousin of Esther who brought her up as his own daughter, had explained by writing the decree that was commanded from Shushan the palace in Persia (Modern day Iran).
We recall that the Medo Persian Empire took over from the Babylonians during the time of Daniel, and it was Cyrus the Persian who set them free sometime earlier.
Mordechai explained to Esther what had occurred;
We take up the passage from verse 8, Esther 4:8;
8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. 9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; 11 All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12 And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
The passage is self-explanatory;
The PERIOD IN THE HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE IS UNIQUE
Mordechai truly believed in all his heart that Esther herself IS uniquely placed FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS;
I look at the time that we are living in today and I ask myself the same question, and I ask that same question of you;
WHO KNOWS THAT YOU ARE COME INTO THIS WORLD FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?
You, who have trusted in Christ and are the possessors of the greatest hope in the history of mankind, how do you know if you are come to this world FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?
Is the time inconvenient?
Well, was it not inconvenient for Esther?
She has just been made QUEEN!
I don’t know what career goals YOU HAVE…?
She is at the top of the game, made queen over all the empire that ruled the world in that day, and now she risked DEATH simply for going in to petition the king for the life of her people;
So, I don’t know what plans you had planned for such a time as this, BUT you might consider them INTERUPTED for a purpose infinitely greater in value.
YOU, dear Christian, are uniquely PREPARED and UNIQUELY PLACED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!
This is not a time to lament or to mourn the loss of that which cannot last, but to preach of a kingdom that endures forever!
To lift up your hearts and to lift up your eyes, to make manifest to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord and offers eternal life and peace to all who believe!
- Think of the target lit with a laser and your aim now focused;
You were not saved from your sin to live for yourself;
You were not given everlasting life to keep it to yourself;
You were not filled with hope and joy of infinite heaven, to please yourself with a finite world.
You are to bear fruit, not to cumber the ground.
And I do speak to all Christians who have their hope is this life.
Who says, “no my hope is in heaven” and yet live every day of their lives AS IF their hope is actually in the world!
A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:6-9)
There is an element of this parable that reminds me of Mordechai’s statement to Esther;
There will be fruit that the Lord will glean, you are UNIQUELY PLACED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, and NOTHING is outside the realms of possibility for those willing to stand before the King and petition him for the lives of many;
A Unique Petition For History
The Gospel is the most unique petition in history.
Esther will petition both God and the King for the lives of her people, but we petition God and the people for the salvation of their souls.
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: ….
Esther had now determined to do as she was bidden by her Cousin whom she respected as a father.
She knew that he was right. She trusted him, but she also knew the enduring reality of her people as that Chosen people of God.
No doubt Modecai had long brought her up in the knowledge of the scriptures, he exposed her to the truth of the word and encouraged her in her faith, that she not waiver.
Esther knew the truth of it, though no doubt fear assailed her, she understood that she would need to petition the King for the life of her people.
But the passage before us has a petition to more than the king.
16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise
A unique book is the book of Esther.
It is the only book in the Bible that does not mention the Lord. “God” is not mentioned, likewise “Prayer” or “pray” is not mentioned.
Yet both are perfectly assumed in verse 16.
For unto whom do we fast?
And to what purpose is fasting without petitioning?
Though prayer and God is not mentioned in the Book, there is no doubt it is implied!
The GOSPEL is a UNIQUE PETITION for the souls of the lost, BUT Before you go out to petition the lost of the world, you should in every way PETITION the Lord for them, that their hearts might be softened.
King Ahasuerus was a powerful and cruel king, like all the rulers of the times, they took no pleasure in fools and their laws were stubbornly resolute.
Esther mentions an indication of the hardness of the laws when she spoke, through fear, of not being called unto the King, and the extreme risk of entering in to him UNINVITED.
V11…whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live
She and all those around her needed to petition the Lord through both prayer and fasting that his heart may be softened, that he may be willing to hear her own petition for him.
Fasting seems set here in this passage as that good work that will soften the heart. Never minimise this element in your petition to the Lord, it opens more doors to hearts than can possibly be imagined.
Of all things, this is one of the most unique elements of the petition.
Therefore, beloved, it is the same when we PETITION the Lost that they may have hope in the Gospel.
If the Lost are anything like YOU AND I WERE, they should also be STUBBORN AND RESOLUTE.
Even at A TIME SUCH AS THIS, we shall still find many who will not lift up their sceptre to permit an audience of hope with them. We will see many try to blame God for their affliction, and rather than a softened heart, some will become harder.
So, we fear to approach them with the Gospel uninvited.
Our desire is to warn them of the wrath to come for their own sin, but they will not hear it without God first doing the work in them to permit even the conversation.
Consider: How many of you have tried to warn people of the coming events in our own day? Even that which we knew would follow the news of this current plague, and how many thought you were mad?
Some of us knew there would be a panic and we tried to warn others so they would prepare and not panic, yet there was no urgency until it became urgent. There was no panic until they panicked.
So too respecting the souls of the lost.
They have no idea of the danger their soul is in, they think they have made their plans well, they think that when death comes it will not lay claim against their sin….
and yet when it comes, O what panic would then rule them, what urgency in the looking for Hope would take them, what utter fear would grip them, but it would be too late.
Over a decade ago, an economist warned me about the financial state of the world and said, “Better to be years too early, than a minute too late”.
When it is too late, it is simply too late.
When your eyes close for the last time, it is too late.
At the last beat of the heart, the time has passed.
People speak of a second chance after death, to what end? Chance after chance is presented them in life, moment after moment and no advantage is taken by many of the lost.
How many are the opportunities they have waved away?
Too late to get house insurance when the house is destroyed, too late to get life insurance when the death has come, too late to get death insurance when life is gone!
All their life long, God is patient, waiting with open arms. BUT STUBBORN AND RESOLUTE HEARTS deny him.
And he gives to them in death, that which they desired in life.
An existence opposed to God.
Among the many adjectives given in the Bible respecting hell, Jesus referred to it as “outer darkness” where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 8:12, Mt 22:13 & Mt 25:30)
The Bible simply says; The Wages of sin is death in Rom 6:23
YET the rest of that very verse gives hope to the living;
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is hope for the living.
I PETITION all who are hearing this message today, I am begging you to believe the Gospel before it is too late.
Death will close all doors but one!
But I am also petitioning you who are ordained as THE HERALDS OF HOPE, to preach the Gospel to all people.
YOU ARE HERE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Do not live as if you have no hope, you have everlasting life.
YOU ARE HERE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
YOU HAVE THE MOST INCREDIBLE NEWS OF ALL AND ONLY you are able to share it with those God has placed in your life.
They will hear it from NO ONE ELSE.
Beloved, this is not a time to despair, but a time to live the rest of the days the Lord has given you in joy and faith and to BEAR MUCH FRUIT.
AT WHATEVER COST!
If I Perish, I Perish.
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
In 2003, Stephen and Emily Foreman entered into the mission field of an Islamic country. They left their “white picket fence home” in the United States, where the rains came in their season and crops grew as if on command. And came to a place where two centimetres of rain was the best they could hope for each year. And violence would claim the life of one of them.
It was Emily Forman who survived her husband, shot three times for his work sharing the truth of Jesus Christ and wonderfully transforming the lives of many people through the Gospel.
Whole communities began to be productive, lives even in this life, were wonderfully enhanced, and people began to smile regularly for the hope they had been given through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be more rewarding for the Foreman’s.
But those who despised the Lord heard about the work and began to make trouble for all who followed this way.
Until the morning of the 25th June 2010, when two young men driving a red car, tried to force her husband Stephen toward the vehicle, then Pop, pop, pop.
The Title of this Biography written by Emily Foreman is “We died before we came here”.
That was the mindset of Esther;
and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
It is a mind and a heart that knows the truth of the Gospel, that has experienced the knowledge of God and has been transformed completely by the joy of the hope set in the heart.
If I Perish, I Perish.
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, you are I are wonderfully alive.
I simply cannot believe that I am living in the times of the signs.
Those things spoken of so long ago, are occurring each and every day before my own eyes, but regardless of when the Lord will come, whether I am alive to see it or not, makes no difference to me;
I know that God has determined that there was no other time in history that my life was better suited.
You are here FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
You are here during a UNIQUE PERIOD IN HISTORY you are the most UNIQUE PERSON FOR HISTORY with the most UNIQUE PETITION OF HISTORY.
Understanding that your life is to be given for the very purpose of the Gospel of Christ in every way, when you “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
And you determined to be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
It will be then that you “may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom 12:1-2)
Don’t you know that you will not be in heaven one single moment earlier than the Lord wants you home with him?
Don’t you know that this life has no hold on you any longer?
Don’t you know that every person in the world has the right to hear the Gospel at least once?
Don’t spend time trying to convince a fool of the truth of the Gospel again and again and again. They have heard the Gospel, but there are others that have not heard the Gospel.
It is why Jesus spoke of shaking the dust of our feet;
Indeed, I am not saying to ignore those who have rejected the truth; but
Oswald J Smith said “no one has the right to hear the Gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once”
We have joy even in times of trials that we might come forth as Gold tried in the fire.
This is the time for strength and courage, not to cower in fear and lament the news.
There are so many today who have no hope, but where are those who have freely received?
Will we not freely give?
Be clear with the truth beloved, you are not here to have people to accept you.
You do not take up space in this world so people will come to love you.
You are here that people may come to love the Lord.
It is we who need to die to ourselves that we may live unto Christ.
Turn in your Bibles to 2 Cor 6:1-10
And we will conclude with this passage
1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The world is going to go through a transformation that will be the most unique in history in the coming years, and YOU ARE HERE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
God has, in his infinite wisdom, placed you in this incredible period of history, because YOU ARE UNIQUELY SUITED for this very time.
Beloved, BE SPENT FOR THE HOPE OF EVERLASTING LIFE.
If you perish for the sake of the Gospel, then perish knowing you are wonderfully received by Christ and have transformed the lives of some.