Thursday, July 21, 2022

            Esther has a rather surprising claim to fame as a book of the Bible.  It never mentions the name of God.  Not even once.  It is the only book in the Bible that contains no mention or reference to the name of God.  While this book named Esther does not directly mention God, it most certainly and clearly reveals God at work on behalf of His people to bring His purposes to completion and fulfillment.  Though His name is not captured or written in the book, we can easily see evidence of His fingerprints and His hand at work.
            God worked through Esther to save and deliver the Jewish people.  Perhaps the key verse is Esther 4:14, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  The phrase “for such a time as this” is the one we often remember in connection with Esther and her work.  The principle that this phrase illuminates remains true even today.  God often calls us to work, to serve and to go for “such a time as this.”  God gives us the opportunity to serve Him and His purposes.  We may not always know why God makes such a choice.  And a full explanation is not usually necessary for us to serve the Lord. Often, we may not have any explanation at all—just a gnawing, restless sense that God has something for us to do.
            When God presents us with an occasion to serve, we usually have two choices.  Obedience or disobedience are the choices.  We can disobey and decline the occasion to serve like Jonah first did when God called him to preach in Nineveh.  Or, we can obey like Peter, James and John did when Jesus offered to make these fishermen fishers of men.  We can respond affirmatively and positively like Esther did and bring God’s ways and purposes to high places or even unfriendly places.  If you are looking for some way to serve the Lord or to become a difference-maker, there is usually no shortage of ways, places and occasions where you can serve the Lord and reveal Him to others.  Start where you work or live.  Perhaps God has you there for such a time as this.  There is work that God would like to fulfill through you where you already are. 
            When I was in Poland in May of this year, God had clearly raised up Polish believers to serve Ukrainian refugees.  This service involved listening, encouraging, feeding, comforting and meeting these refugees where they were at that moment in life.  Service does not always look like a Billy Graham Crusade or a month spent in some of the direst and distressed places on the planet.  God often uses us right where we are and He has put us there for a reason.  Generally, that reason is to make Him known to others and to share His gospel and grace with others.  Look around your location.  Pray about the place where God has you living or working.  What could God be doing?  Where is God already at work so you can join in with Him and what He is doing?  We know with confidence that God is at work in the world.  We simply need to decide whether or not we join with Him in that work.
            We can get bogged down by guilt over all the times when we did not see or hear
God when He called us to join Him.  The enemy can trick us into thinking that our time has passed and the opportunity is gone. We can also get distracted and sidetracked if we look too far into future opportunities or ways to serve the Lord.  The enemy can trick us into inactivity and passivity as we just sit idly by waiting for tomorrow.  May we focus our eyes on our times and places so we can serve God at such a time as this and in such a place as this.  It is a privilege to be used by the Lord and to join in whatever He may be doing.  May we be as attuned to the movements and work of God as Esther was and be available for a time and place of His choosing.  Have a great Thursday!  And join us tonight at 7:00pm for the All-State Youth Choir in concert!

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