Even though I know I am a selected, cherished, adopted and enabled child of God, I struggle with insignificance. Well, that’s not completely true. I embrace it like a feather doona on a winter’s night.
I mean, seriously, who am I to stand in front of Church and bring the Word of God? Or pen a blog to encourage believers in the Way? I am a middle-aged introvert, doing life with the other 7.9 billion people on this planet.
Who am I that God would select me for a part in His plan?
I get the feeling Esther felt the same way.
Just a girl
Orphaned and exiled to a foreign land, her people second class citizens bowled over and almost wiped out by the Babylonian juggernaut. And not only that, Esther was a girl.
In her time you really couldn’t get more insignificant than that.
But Esther knew love. Her Uncle Mordecai loved her, cared for her and wanted the best for her. Which is why he threw her to the (figurative) lions.
Xerxes: emperor of the Medes and Persians, vanquisher of the Babylonians, ruler of the whole continent, supreme leader of legions of armies, was looking for a new wife. Not just a concubine, or palace decoration, but a queen to replace the last one he disposed of.
Even though Yahweh is not mentioned specifically in this book, His hand is evident everywhere:
- There was need for a new Queen
- Esther won the favour of the guy in charge of prepping the candidates
- Out of the hundreds of girls gathered from his empire, King Xerxes selected Esther
- Mordecai stopped an assassination attempt on the King
- Hamon planned to destroy the Jews, but God was working in the background.
Yet, when an edict was passed allowing everyone throughout the empire to slaughter the Israelites, the Jews were granted no right of reply.
Up to this point, Mordecai had forbidden Esther to reveal her heritage, but now it was her time to shine.
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 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?”Esther 4:13-14
Esther had to make a choice: hide or step up and step out. Everyone knew to approach the King without a summons could mean certain death.
Whom would she trust?
Esther didn’t know if Yahweh would act on her behalf, but an opportunity arose, opening was made, and she squeezed through in the hope of saving her people.
But not before giving a few orders of her own.
16 “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 attendants 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
Esther approached Xerxes in utter faith. But not in her identity as the king’s wife.
She had no idea how she would be received but knew even if God didn’t save her, she had confidence in her identity as the Heavenly King’s daughter.
3 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 5:3
And the rest is history.
Just the same
We are exactly the same.
As rebellious enemies our Heavenly King reaches out with an invitation to come. But not just to approach is throne as subjects, as beloved children.
Value is subjective. It is bestowed by others. To our heavenly Father, our value is beyond our comprehension. But we know He allowed His beloved and only Son pay the price for our sin.
We may feel insignificant when we look at ourselves in the mirror, or through the eyes of the world around us. But if we dare to see ourselves through the eyes of our Father, we will know the Truth.
We too can be confronted by some pretty scary, intimidating challenges. At some point, as children of God, we are called to step up and step out. And it can be terrifying. But like Esther, we need to remember whose we are, and choose in whom to place our trust.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,Psalm 146:3-5
in human beings, who cannot save.
We don’t always see God working. But if we believe He is who He says He is and trust His Word is Truth, we don’t have to. We know we are loved, selected and protected.
Everything else is up to Him.
- Have you ever been in a situation where you have had to step up and step out?
- How did God come through for you?