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Lessons from Esther

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

What roles can you use to glorify the Lord?

Most of us know the story of Esther.  At least, we’ve heard her name and maybe know she was a queen in the Bible.  I grew up in a Christian home, attended church regularly, participated in and led Bible Studies, and even worked at camp.  However, it wasn’t until recently that the Lord really used the story of Esther to teach me some pretty valuable lessons.

The Jews were in exile in Babylon.  They had been for quite some time, with many surrounding nations as enemies.  King Xerxes, the ruling authority in Persia at that time, banished his queen for some disrespect and held sort of an “audition” for a new queen with the young, beautiful candidates from throughout his territory.  Esther was chosen from one of the provinces to go to the king’s palace as a potential candidate for wife and she won!  She married Xerxes and became Queen.

For whatever reason, Xerxes honored a guy named Haman.  He was elevated in position and given special treatment.  Haman was disrespected by a Jew and, in his anger, petitioned Xerxes to massacre all of the Jews.  Without a reason not to, Xerxes basically said “sure.”

Mordecai, Esther’s adopted father, urged Esther to go to Xerxes and beg for mercy on behalf of the Jews.  Esther responded by saying that she could potentially be put to death if she came to the king without being summoned and therefore didn’t want to do it.  Mordecai’s response is challenging:

“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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?”  Esther 4:13-14

First, in our distress, God always has a plan for relief and deliverance.  When Mordecai says “relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place,” he is demonstrating trust in the Lord’s covenant promises to Israel and faithfulness regardless of his circumstances, and so should we.  

Second, God does not need any of us to accomplish His will.  Mordecai evidenced this belief by confidently saying it will come from another place than Esther.  He acknowledged that God does not need Esther to save His people.  God does not need any of us, and yet He chooses to use us anyway.  In light of the reality that God doesn’t need any particular one of us, we should never be so prideful to think that we are so important that God’s will cannot be done without us.  We should humbly acknowledge with awe that God chooses to use us and press on in humble dependence on the Lord.

Third, while we are not all in “royal” positions, we have been given positions and roles in life that enable us to accomplish what the Lord has set before us.  We should not take for granted the opportunity of each position.  We should start in our homes with those we live with and our geographical neighbors, in our churches with those we sit next to each Sunday, in our workplace with employees and customers we interact with.  Each role is a “position” we’ve been given in this season, to witness to and testify of the Lord’s goodness.  Who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?  How will you use your position to glorify the Lord?

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