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Positioned For Such A Time As This (Esther 4:14b)

Sermon on 29 May 2022 by Rev Lynette Goh


Esther 4:14b - “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?””


You are placed in this church, your families and your workplaces for such a time like this.


John 16:13 - “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.”


God will tell you things ahead of time through the Holy Spirit.


Praying in extraordinary times:

1. Preparation

2. Restoration

3. Alignment

4. Yieldedness


Throughout the week, you are walking in His presence and His constant intercession for you. You are empowered and led by the Holy Spirit. Prayer is not just a session. It is a culmination. Our prayer life is not only presenting our requests to God, but hearing from Him too. If only we quieten down, we will hear what God wants us to do. The specific words to you will come. In your life, begin to schedule in quiet moments before we begin the day and at the end of the day.


1. Preparation for a time like this


Esther 2:7 - “This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.”


Esther 2:10-11 - “Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.”


Esther 2:20 - “Esther continued to keep her family background and nationality a secret. She was still following Mordecai’s directions, just as she did when she lived in his home.”


She was prepared by Mordecai. Esther followed whatever he said. She kept herself apart. Esther would obey Mordecai. You can see the Father’s heart in Mordecai through the close relationship he had with Esther and them looking out for each other.


Esther 4:13-16 - “Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.””


She waited on God and never forgot who she was. On the advice of Mordecai, she began to change her focus and began to fast. That’s also the power of godly counsel in our lives. Because of that, she never forgot who she was. We must never forget who we are in Christ. This will hold us steady in challenging times.


Ephesians 2:10 - “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”


This is God’s responsibility. He has created us and planned good plans for us.


2 Timothy 3:16-17 - “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”


He prepares us. He gives us His word. He shows us who we are and what we have and what we can do in Him. Then what is our response? We need to focus on the Lord. We need to prioritise His word. We need to set aside distractions and also select our mentors carefully. What does it mean to select mentors carefully? In this day and age, we not only listen to our parents. We listen to social media even more. We need to be very selective because some of the information on social media sounds very good but they are not the truth. They are not God’s truth. They can sound almost like God’s words but there is no wisdom in it. People could get angry online too. If we don’t select our mentors correctly, we could get caught up. Esther listened to Mordecai who pursued God. However, Hamon listened to his wife and friends and went astray. We can listen to the wrong people.


Colossians 3:2-3 - “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”


This anointment means you are entwined with Christ. It is the Messiah. Many times, we want to pursue the things of God but we get distracted. We look around and pursue blessings instead of God.


Psalms 23:6 - “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”


We are pursued by God’s blessings as we pursue God. So don’t get off focus by pursuing blessings.


2. Restoration


The Jews were being conquered in this era and they were in another country. Yet, Esther was restored and favour was given to her. A high position was given to Mordecai too.


Esther 2:9 - “Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.”


Esther 2:15b - “Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.”


This happened before she was the queen. She was already obtaining favour.


Esther 2:17-18 - “And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.”


Psalms 5:12 - “For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.”


God blessed the righteous. With favour, He will surround us with a shield. We are righteous and live righteously. Favour is not for ourselves per se. Favour is for us to move and accomplish God’s will. When we need to do the will of God, we need His favour. Does it mean if we have favour then we have no obstacles? It means that we will surmount the insurmountable. We can move the unmovable.


Esther 4:11 - ““All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.””


It seemed that Esther lost favour. She was not summoned to the King. It seemed that the hatred Haman had to Jews intensified. The enemy can continue to attack but the favour of God surrounds us as a shield. None of the fiery darts can touch us. If it’s from God, we stand firm. In time to come, we move the unmovable. If not from God, we change. We hear what is actually from God and make adjustments. That’s what Esther did. She initially heard from Mordecai but now she wanted to hear from God directly. After 3 days of fasting, she heard from God and started to move. She had no fear. Fear cannot rule us. When you have heard from God, be sure and trust Him. That’s what Esther did exactly.


Esther 5:1-8 - “On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter. Then the king asked her, “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!” And Esther replied, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet I have prepared for the king.” The king turned to his attendants and said, “Tell Haman to come quickly to a banquet, as Esther has requested.” So the king and Haman went to Esther’s banquet. And while they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “Now tell me what you really want. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!” Esther replied, “This is my request and deepest wish. If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I ask, please come with Haman tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for you. Then I will explain what this is all about.””


When He sees us approaching Him, He won’t push us away but holds His golden scepter for us to touch it. Go to God and hear from Him. Esther began to ask after that. She had the wisdom to not ask straightaway. She asked two times for a banquet for the King and Hamon. She heard this when she was waiting upon the Lord for 3 days and 3 nights. When you wait upon Him, He will surely speak.


Esther 7:3-4 - “Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.””


Her identity was also restored. She identified her people and herself after that. She pleaded for the life of her people.


Esther 6:10-11 - ““Excellent!” the king said to Haman. “Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!” So Haman took the robes and put them on Mordecai, placed him on the king’s own horse, and led him through the city square, shouting, “This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!””


Mordecai didn’t actively look for favour. It was accorded to him. The King wanted to honour him as he saved the King’s life. It was a divine happening. He was at the right place and the right time.


Esther 3:2-6 - “All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. Then the palace officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.”


Mordecai kept to his principles. He openly told people he was a Jew and worshipped God. He was ready to suffer for righteousness. When we follow God, there may be times where we suffer. However, God is for you. When you are for God, God will look out for you. He did not pull back. The King gave him favour later on. God’s responsibility is to bless us with every spiritual blessing.


Ephesians 1:3 - “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”


We must see ourselves in Christ and be blessed. We have already been restored through Jesus. In Him, we have favour.


3. Alignment


Esther 4:4-6 - “When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the burlap, but he refused it. Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning. So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the square in front of the palace gate.”


We cannot have a lack of love towards God. Jesus willingly gave us His life and the Father willingly gave us His son for us. We should also willingly give our lives to Him.


Isaiah 1:19 - “If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.”


Some of us are obedient because we ‘don’t have a choice’. We have to make that choice. We have to become willing. When you understand God’s love for you, that He has given His best for us, you will get willing. You become thankful and grateful. You sense His love for you and follow Him willingly.


When Esther heard from Mordecai and found out what was happening, she began to adjust herself. She adjusted her thoughts. She became prepared to sacrifice. Sometimes when we are unwilling, we cannot hear from God. When we become willing, He will continue speaking. When Esther heard, she began to act. She spoke at the right time. She only spoke after the second banquet. We align ourselves and God will speak.


Esther 4:15-16 - “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.””


Esther 7:1-6 - “So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet. On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!” Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.” “Who would do such a thing?” King Xerxes demanded. “Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?” Esther replied, “This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy.” Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen.”


God's responsibility is in seeing ahead. He shows us the next step. We don’t take over His responsibility. We just need to respond. Our response is to do with changing our mindset. When we change our mindset, God’s hands begin to move. Many of us are just touching the edge of God’s grace. We might receive some blessings because of His mercy. We need to fully immerse ourselves so that we can see the perfect will of God. Let’s check ourselves. Have we obeyed what God instructed? Have we aligned to God’s word in our attitude and behaviour? We need to be still and know that He is God.


Romans 12:2 - “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”


Psalms 46:10 - ““Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.””


4. Yieldedness


Esther’s example showed us that it is not about self, but about submission. It’s not about proving her worth. In Mordecai’s example, it’s not about fighting for power. However, it is to follow God’s plan. Esther did not plot against Hamon. He was the one who plotted and got caught in his own trap. People who plan bad things will reap what they sow. Esther pleaded for the life of her people. She stood in the gap for her people. This is our position today. We need to stand in the gap. Who are the people that God put in your heart? What are the things God put in your heart to do? Start following. Start believing.


Philippians 1:6 - “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”


We respond in obedience.


Romans 12:1 - “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”


We should totally commit and surrender to Him. What has God put in your heart and your hand? What has He shown you to do? As you are being prepared and restored, and align and yield to His word, He will surely show you the next steps.


Amen.

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