“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” —Esther 4:14
Esther was a young Jewish captive in Persia. One day, the king of Persia, Xerxes, held a feast that would last seven days. On the last day, in high spirits from wine, he requested his wife, Queen Vashti, to dance for him and his guests. She refused and the king, enraged, banished her from his presence forever.
His noblemen searched every province in the empire for the most beautiful women to compete in replacing Queen Vashti. Esther, forced to leave home, may have been an unwilling candidate, but she was to play a crucial role in saving her people from annihilation. She was brought to the citadel of Susa and for 12 months received beauty treatments before being presented to the king. Highly favoured among all the prospects, King Xerxes chose her to be his queen. He did not know she was Jewish.
Behind the agenda of the king was a divine agenda for Esther. The Jewish people in Persia were threatened with a holocaust that would destroy them. At great risk, without being summoned by the king, Esther requested an audience with him. This could have resulted in her banishment or even death, but the king was pleased with her. He listened to her petition in which she cleverly strategized, convincing him to rescind the orders to annihilate her people. As her uncle Mordecai said to her, “...you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
From a divine perspective, Esther was in the right place at the right time for the right purpose. In the same way, God will bring us into an area where He has bigger reasons than we know. He is continually at work in this world, and we have the privilege of playing a role, but often within the context of a much bigger picture.
There are many leading characters in the Bible, ordinary people who have done great exploits because they knew and trusted God. When our hearts and minds are aligned with God, He will use us in extraordinary ways. We may never know the chain of events God orchestrates that puts us in a place for “such a time as this,” but perhaps a life will be saved, a shelter built, a tragedy averted or hundreds of souls brought to Christ because God was directing our way.
Though we may not be privy to an end result, or only see it in hindsight, God’s plans for our lives are intricately connected to His plans for the world. Esther’s legacy reminds us that in whatever task God calls us to, we need to look beyond the mundane to the magnificent and envision God’s divine purpose.