Open Your Bible
Esther 2:1-18, Esther 3:1-6, Esther 4:1-17, Esther 8:1-7, Hebrews 4:14-16
Esther’s bravery was a provision of God’s gracious and eternal plan. Esther had the privilege of being part of the story of Israel’s rescue. But it’s unlikely that she wanted to be anywhere near the king’s harem—she probably would have preferred to stay safely at home.
And when calamity threatened, her cousin Mordecai prefaced his exhortation to Esther with this profound observation: “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place” (Esther 4:14).
Mordecai understood that the real story doesn’t depend on us, but upon God, who always accomplishes His will. Only in light of this truth can we understand what it means to live rightly in the time and place God has put us. Mordecai’s words to Esther provide three profound implications:
First, it conveys an unwavering trust in God’s providence. Mordecai was not in doubt as to Who was Israel’s security and hope. It was not Esther. It was not himself. It was not man or the strength of men. He knew that God is faithful, that He keeps His covenant, that He alone is the preserver of His people. God alone can save.
Second, it is a reminder that God calls us to humility. When we find ourselves in a position either of pressure or of prominence, both are God’s doing, and both are for the glory of His kingdom. Mordecai mourned and repented in the public square, openly confessing His dependence on God. His call to Esther was to do the same with her position of privilege: not to use it for her own preservation or security, but to lay it at the feet of God, to yield it up to the purposes of His kingdom.
Third, it frames a biblical perspective of time and history. The phrase “for such a time as this” brings to mind all of the moments when God’s unseen hand is at work in the Esther narrative. The primary action of the story is not dependent upon what people decide to do, but on what “happens,” or rather, what Providence decrees. The story moves on a series of passive verbs, indicating a divine will that guides all things. “For such a time as this” is a reminder that both the evil of the day and the opportunity to stand for justice were provisions of God’s hand. God is at work, and He works all things—even the evil that men do—for the glory of His kingdom and the good of His people.
This hope is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. The true rescue of captive Israel is foreshadowed in Esther, but accomplished in the work of Jesus’s sacrifice. He is the true Savior of Israel. He stood before the rulers and judges of the world and obeyed even to the point of death on the cross. He took upon Himself the gallows punishment so that we might be redeemed. He fought the battle for us in order to give us victory. His eternal decree has overturned the decrees of kings and rulers, of powers and principalities, and He has established a kingdom that endures and confounds the powers of this world.
This is not a story about the bravery of Esther or the wisdom of Mordecai. It is a story about the sovereign providence of God. We are all born for such a time as this, and we can depend on Christ to fulfill His promises.