For Such a Time As This

By Pastor Teck Uy

Nothing happens by accident. Everything has been ordained by God. If opportunities come for us to act and we do not act accordingly, we miss the chance to be a blessing and be blessed. Because God ordained things to happen at the precise times he intended, King Solomon said, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl. 3:11). Indeed, there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. If we speak up when it is time to speak, this could mean the salvation of many. This was the situation of Queen Esther when confronted with a great challenge. She was given the choice to speak up or be quiet, but Mordecai, her uncle said, “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 royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14).

Queen Esther’s rise to such a prominent position was not just to beautify the kingdom of King Xerxes. It was timed in such a way that she would be used to preserve the lives of her people. Her failure to seize the opportunity to speak up would have meant their destruction. However, her initial hesitation to speak up was not without basis. For her to step up in defense of the Jews meant risking her position as Queen. She would have to go against a formidable foe, Haman, who was the highest-ranking official in the kingdom of King Xerxes. Besides, she was not allowed to approach the king whenever she wanted in order to plead for the deliverance of her people, the Jews. Nevertheless, she opted to seize the opportunity and said to Mordecai, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

In placing her life and future in the hands of God and risking her position as Queen, Esther’s efforts to save her people paid off. The Jews were delivered from the plot of Haman to annihilate them. Indeed, God has placed us in our respective positions in life for a purpose—and that is to save lives. Joseph realized this truth when, after going through much sufferings that included being sold into Egypt by his own brothers, becoming a slave in Egypt, and then being thrown into jail, he said to his brothers, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:4-7). As painful at it was, had Joseph rejected God’s plan, he would have not found himself in the best position not only to save his own life, but also the lives of many.

God’s plan is to save lives and he position each one of us in such a way that we can be an influence in saving the lives of others with us in it, or just the lives of others at our expense. There are times when we have to make sacrifices so that others might be saved from their troubles. In the case of the Lord Jesus Christ, he had to give up his own life so that we, who are deserving of death because of our own sins, might be saved. This is a classic example of sacrifice for the good of others. He came at the time ordained by God: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).

If there is any hesitation in us being used by God at his appointed time, it is because we do not want to give up our positions and the comfort that goes with them. We think that we are better off where we are, but if we do not seize the occasion to help others when we are in the position to do so, we will certainly miss the blessings. Let us always remember that if we do not act, somebody else will do it and they will get the blessings. Meantime, we do not only miss the blessing, but could be exposing ourselves to harm. Let us realize that God placed us in our current position at such a time like this for a purpose—to save lives. Let us extend the help and glorify God. Amen!