There is a little side story that occurs here which will have great significance later. Mordecai happens to overhear a plot to kill the King and turns the two men in who are then hung to die. More importantly, this act was recorded in the book of Chronicles which was like the history book of the day (Read 2:21-23)

Now enters the villain of our story. A man named Haman, one of the King’s many princes. In Esther chapter three, Haman has just been elevated to position of Prime Minister of all the Princes. It was decreed by the King that all who sat at the gate of the city must bow and reverence Haman whenever he passed by. Everyone bowed except Mordecai the Jew. (Read Esther 3:1-6).

Haman sought to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews. Haman manipulated the king to make a royal decree to have the Jews annihilated. At stake were the lives of thousands and thousands of God’s people. God’s people were in distress. A day was set for them to die. They lived with the threat of death. (Read Esther 3:8-10)

Today, in America, God’s people are in distress!

In Hosea 4:6 the Bible says,

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

People are dying for the truth. That’s why we are here – to bring life where there is death!

Today, we see the threat of death to the family as we once knew it.

We see the threat of death to morality, and decency, and values, and of God’s word. Prayer has been taken out of our schools, the 10 commandments are banned from public display, anything to do with God and Jesus is being banned from public life.

Amos 8:11says, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:"

We are living in that day. You would be hard pressed to find many churches anywhere in America or in throughout the world that teaches and preaches the Word of God.

Wherever there are people of God there are enemies of God.

You are where you are for such a time as this, because God’s people are in distress! And like Esther, we need to rise to the challenge and decide to serve the Lord!

Story:

Rise to the challenge like Martin Niemoeller: Martin Niemoeller was a German Pastor who was imprisoned by Hitler for 8 years. He spent time in prisons and concentration camps, including Dachau. Hitler realized that if Niemoeller, a World War l hero, could be persuaded to join his cause then much opposition would collapse, so he sent a former friend of Niemoeller to visit him, a friend who now supported the Nazis. Seeing Niemoeller in his cell, the one time friend is reported as saying, "Martin, Martin! Why are you here?" To which he received from Niemoeller the response, "My friend! Why are you not here?"


#1 God’s people are in distress.

2). God’s person has been discovered.

If you’ve ever experienced broken-ness in your life – if you think you’ve been dealt a tough hand, there is a beautiful lesson here for you. If you’ve been crushed by life - if you have a troubled past that is fractured, then you can learn some unforgettable truths from Esther.

Here was a little girl who must have cried her heart out longing for a mommy and a daddy. Years later, though, she would become key to the very survival of her people. She was God’s person. And in spite of her past, in spite of her broken-ness, God used her. And He can do the same for you!

Mordecai learned of the plan to kill all the Jews. He wrote a letter warning Esther. He had someone that he knew in the palace. But Esther wrote back to say that she was powerless to stop the killing. Her excuse was that the law stated no one could enter the King’s chambers uninvited - even the Queen. Esther had not seen the King for 30 days. She may have even wondered if she had fallen out of favor with him. To enter the throne room uninvited was to literally invite death. In essence, Esther was telling Mordecai, "I can’t do what God wants. I don’t want to break the law and be killed by the King!" (Read Esther 4:6-12)

Esther didn’t feel she was the person for God’s job!

Then Mordecai sent a second message to Esther, insisting that her Jewish blood would be discovered and she too would surely die. Either as a condemned Jew or as a Queen who violated the King’s law, Esther and her people were doomed unless she acted. (Read Esther 4:13-17)

This has to go down as one of the most incredible "pivot points of history."

Mordecai says, "If you do nothing, don’t think you will escape death. You’ll be found out as a Jew and you will die. God’s hands aren’t tied. He will use someone else to save His people. But think how great it would be for God to use you. Could it be that this explains why you were chosen to be queen, my dear Esther—for such a time as this—for this very moment?"

When Esther knew in her heart that God was calling her, she took action. She told Mordecai to have her people begin praying and fasting on her behalf. Esther knew that if she was going to fulfill her divine appointment, she couldn’t do it by relying on her own resources or clever schemes. Through prayer and fasting, she relied on God’s thoughts to be her thoughts. She asked for God’s wisdom and power for her every move.

Listen folks, we are not the source of power to fulfill our divine appointment for such a time as this. God is the source! Through the Holy Spirit, God will faithfully empower us to take the actions we need to take "for such a time as this."

Notice how verse 16 ends. Esther decides to take a stand and says,

"…if I perish, I perish."

If Esther obeyed Mordecai, she stood to risk everything, including her life. Although she was the Queen, she couldn’t just stroll into his private chambers and talk to him and tell him what was on her mind. Things didn’t work like that in ancient Persia. He had to send for her.

Put yourself in her place. "No one knows I’m a Jew. If I don’t say anything, I’m still the queen. I can keep all this wealth and fame intact. People will still continue to serve me. But if I go before the king in defense of my people, then I could lose my life. Or I could lose my royal status, my wealth, my honor." You have to think that she weighed her options carefully. She understood the implications of her decision.

She decided, "I’m willing to sacrifice it all because God’s people are in distress. If I perish, I perish!"

Scholars say that people weren’t allowed into the king’s presence without an invitation because it may have been a safety precaution designed to protect the king’s life. Men stood around the throne with swords to fatally punish any who approached the throne without being invited.

She’s thinking, "If a guard drives a sword through my body, I die doing the right thing." She has changed from concern for her own safety to concern for her people’s survival. She has reached her own personal hour of decision and has not been found wanting.

God challenges our values, doesn’t He? What is most important to you? In order for us to fulfill our divine appointment in such a time as this, we must be willing to let go of the selfishness. We’ve got to let go of our need to be in control. We’ve got to let go of our telling God when it is convenient in our schedules to serve Him. We’ve got to sacrifice our time, our talent, and our treasure.

"Enough of the easy life," said Esther. "It’s time to put my life on the line. I am Jewish and I believe in the living God. I’m ready to stand up for my people. And if I perish, I perish."

What does it matter if you get involved or not?

It matters greatly because it shows what’s in your heart. Yes, it’s true that God has other ways to accomplish His objectives. He has other people He can use. He isn’t frustrated or restrained because you and I may be indifferent. But when that happens, we are the losers. When are called "for such a time as this," how tragic if we do not have what it takes to stand.

A tremendous opportunity I believe is before us as a church family. This is the time to stand up and be counted. So let me ask you: What are you doing to stand up, to stand alone, and to answer the call of God in this hour?

Edward Everett Hale said,

"I am only one,

But still I am one.

I cannot do everything;

But still I can do something;

And because I cannot do everything

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

Story:

In the nineteenth century, lighthouses on the U.S. coasts were tended by lighthouse keepers and their families. If a man who tended the light took ill or became disabled, often the work was picked up by his wife or children. Such was the case of Hosea Lewis.
Having become, in 1853, the keeper of the light on Lime Rock Island at Newport, Rhode Island, Lewis suffered a stroke four years later, at which time his teenage daughter Ida assumed responsibility for the light. Each day included cleaning the reflectors, trimming the wick, and filling the oil reservoir at sunset and midnight, along with providing for her father’s care.
With long and demanding tasks, Ida was unable to continue her schooling, but daily delivered her siblings to class, whatever the weather, by rowing the 500 yards to the mainland. In the mid-1800s, it was unusual to see a woman maneuvering a boat, but Ida became well-skilled and well-known for handling the heavy craft.

The teenager gained a measure of fame at age sixteen when she rescued four young men after their boat capsized. She rowed to their aid, hearing their screams as they clung to their overturned craft. On March 29, 1869, Ida saved two drowning servicemen from nearby Fort Adams. Public knowledge of Ida’s courage spread as far as Washington, inspiring President Ulysses S. Grant to visit Ida at Newport later that year. Ida rescued another two soldiers in 1881, for which she was awarded the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s highest medal.
In early February of that year the two soldiers were crossing from Newport to Lime Rock Island on foot when the ice gave way. Ida, the lighthouse keeper, came running with a rope. Ignoring peril to herself from weak and rotten ice, she pulled one, then the other to safety. All told, Ida Lewis personally saved something like 25 people in fifty-plus years of keeping the light. Her last reported rescue came at age 63 when she saved a friend who had fallen into the water on her way to visit Ida on the island.

Asked where she found strength and courage for such a feat, Ida answered: ’I don’t know, I ain’t particularly strong. The Lord Almighty gives it to me when I need it, that’s all.’

God’s people are in distress and God’s person has been discovered, and that person, I believe, is you and it’s me! And lastly,

3). God’s power is on display.

Esther had asked for prayer and fasting to prepare for the moment when the doors to the Throne Room opened and she walked through the door. She knelt as soon as she was clear of the doorway and waited for the response from the King. Would she live or would she die? When the King extended his golden scepter, he had spared her life. (Read Esther 5:1-3)

Esther asked that the King and the Prime Minister Haman come to a banquet prepared especially for them. Haman was very proud and boastful about this honor and goes home to tell his wife and friends. He also tells them that he cannot enjoy the honor fully because of this man Mordecai that won’t bow down to him. (Read Esther 5:9-14)

God is about to intervene and prove Himself strong in Esther chapters six and seven. God woke the King out of his sleep and had him look back in the history books to remind him of a man named Mordecai who thwarted a threat on the king’s life. The King wanted to know what was done for this man. When it was told the King that nothing was done for Mordecai, the King called for someone in his court to come in and advise him. Guess who was out in the court waiting to see the King. None other than Haman himself. Let’s read Esther 6:1-14.

At the banquet, Esther squeals on Haman and the King is so angry that he storms out of the banquet and Haman goes to beg for his life and falls on her bed. Just then the King returns and thinks that Haman is forcing himself on his queen. One of he servants reminds the King about the 75 foot high super gallows that was intended for Mordecai. Look what happens, Read Esther 7:8-10.

Not only were the Jews allowed to live, they were permitted to defend themselves against their enemies. The Jews killed over 75,000 of the people that were going to kill them. Esther, a Jew, remains the queen. And Mordecai, another Jew, takes over as the new prime minister. The Jews were given a special day of remembrance for this great victory and it just so happened to be the same day that Haman had declared to be their destruction day. What a powerful God we serve!

Are you struggling today? Caught in between a rock and a hard place? Stop, take a breath and look around. Look for the hand of God leading you and orchestrating the events around you. Who knows, but that you have been lead to right where you are, for such a time as this.

Never let the fact that God is invisible cause you to doubt the fact that God is invincible. God’s power is on display! God wants to show Himself strong!

God has a plan for every one of our lives. He is working in and through us and wants us to take a stand for Him. What about you tonight. Could you say like Esther, "I am going to do what is right and if I perish, I perish?"