For Such a Time as This

When we had a baby seven years after our second child was born, some assumed he was an accident. An “oops” baby. He wasn’t, however. We had tried for a few months to get pregnant. Our other two children were planned, also. I’d always wanted my kids close together, and the first two were exactly eighteen months apart. After two natural births, however, I wasn’t ready to have another child right away. We’d always talked about having three or four children. That’s why a few years after our second child we decided to go for having our late one/last one.

I never wanted my children to feel like they were unwanted. I was raised by hardworking parents who never made me feel like a burden. Even so, there were times in my life when I questioned the reason for my existence. I’m sure most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives.

Today, I’m talking about one of the greatest romances in the Bible, the story of Queen Esther. She was a Jew, one of God’s chosen people. The Bible says that she had no father or mother, and was adopted by her family member, Mordecai.

Royal Romance

This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush:

King Xerxes gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. He was in high spirits from wine and commanded his servants to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.

But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. The king became furious and burned with anger. Queen Vashti was banished from the kingdom, and a search was made for someone to replace her as queen.

There was a Jew named Mordecai who had a cousin named Hadassah, also known as Esther, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

Esther was brought to the palace along with many other young women and entrusted to Hegai, the servant who had charge of the harem. She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.

Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 

When the turn came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence.

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other women. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 

At the same time, there was a man named Haman who had a position of honor in the King’s court. All of the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman as the king had commanded. But Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, would not kneel down or pay him honor.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them.”

When Mordecai found out about the plan to annihilate the Jews, he instructed Esther to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Esther replied: “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “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?”

So Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.

When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

Esther asked that the Jews would be saved, and King Xerxes granted her request. Because of the obedience of one young woman, God’s people were saved.

Mordecai’s statement, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” reminds me that we all have a purpose in life.

There is a reason why you were born. You do not exist by accident, but by the plan of a loving God. As you grow closer to Him through prayer, reading of the Scripture, and fellowship with other believers, allow Him to show you what He has in store for you.

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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