The Book of Esther reads like one of those real-time serial dramas so popular on TV. Week after week you’re kept on the edge of your seat, wondering if the world will end and who will die next.
In the drama of 6th Century (BC), the Jews were a captive people, subject to the Persian king. As the story unfolds, the king’s umpteenth wife-queen displeases him, and she’s suddenly history. A search is made for a suitably-beautiful new queen. Esther is drop-dead gorgeous, and she is brought to the king. At this point nobody suspects that she is also a Jew. We have a feminist Horatio Alger-type story, rags to riches in a heartbeat.
Enter the antagonist
The plot always has a bad guy. Haman, the king’s henchman, engineers a scheme to keep himself on the good side of his boss; he manipulates the king into making an irrevocable decree that all the Jews are to be put to death. (And you thought Hitler was the first?).
Mordecai, Esther’s Jewish uncle, pleads with Esther to intercede with her husband the king. At first she is hesitant, but Uncle Mort sends her a postcard from reality and she understands her duty, puts it all on the line and somehow all the tables are turned. The Jews are saved, and bad-guy Haman winds up on the gallows.
Although the name of God never appears in this story, still, the miraculous power of Jehovah to watch over his people is nonetheless implied. John Wesley[i] wrote that “…the finger of God directs events.”
Of course the punch line to the story comes from Uncle Mordecai’s lips as he prods Esther to action – “Perhaps you were born for this moment”. Esther’s beauty and her chance ascension to the throne of Persia was for a reason; God’s reason.
The same holds true for us, as it did for Esther; all we have and are is given to us. And God makes no mistakes about putting a special talent, gift, possession, personality trait, “handicap” or heartache in our hands. Often our biggest blessing (or disaster) is at the very center of God’s calling on your life. There is a purpose for it!
Have you found yourself in a tough situation that won’t let go? Do you have an opportunity to do something, but the risks seem overwhelming?
Who is YOUR “Uncle Mordecai”? And what has God placed in your hand?
Perhaps your whole life has been pointing at just such a moment.