JANUARY 27
   
Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 28
     Esther 4
     Matthew 27
     Acts 27
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''...Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
(Esther 4: l 4b)
 
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
            The book of Esther is one of the most interesting and intriguing books of the Bible.  The name of God is not mentioned one time in this book. Yet the providential activity of God is seen as clearly in the book of Esther as any other book of the Bible. This powerful Bible story presents one of the most inspiring challenges to total commitment found anywhere in the Scripture. The story of Esther is simple and yet magnificent. God's hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people is evident throughout this book. Haman's plot brings grave danger to the Jews and is countered by the courage of beautiful Esther and the counsel of her wise cousin Mordecai resulting in a great deliverance. The feast of Purim becomes an annual reminder of God's faithfulness on behalf of His people as set forth in this book.
            Ahasuerus was the King of Persia in those days. Esther was a Jewish maiden that was in exile in that land. Circumstances brought about the King removing Queen Vashti from the throne. He then sent forth a royal decree to replace the Queen with someone else. The book of Esther is a beautiful story of how the Jewish maiden became Queen in Persia. Esther had a cousin, Mordecai, who looked upon young Esther as his own daughter. There was a certain wicked man in the king's court named Haman who was determined to kill the Jews. He manipulated the King to make a decree that all the Jews would be killed on a gallows he had already provided. Now consider the message God has for us today from this powerful story.
            Esther represents the church; the people of God. She was an alien, alone in a strange land. She was a nobody and had no future. There was really not much for Esther to look forward to. She is a good picture of a person without Christ. Then she became the bride of the king - a type of the church.
            Her cousin, Mordecai represents the Holy Spirit. He gave her counsel, love and guidance. He arranged for Esther to be brought before the King. Through his work she became the Queen, the bride of the King. He continued to be her counselor, advisor, encourager and equipper.
            Now Haman represented our enemy Satan. He conspired against the King and especially against the Jewish people. He even had a gallows built to take their lives. When Mordecai saw what was happening, he began to talk with Esther because she represented the only hope for God's People. There was a law that indicated that the Queen could go before the King and make an appeal. If he rejected her, she could easily be killed for what she did.  There was the possibility, however, that he would extend to her his scepter and grant her request. Mordecai encouraged Esther to go before the King.  This was an awesome decision for her.
            Mordecai said to Esther ''.who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'' At this point Esther called her maidens to fasting and prayer. Esther then responded, ''I will go before the King which is against the law and if I perish, I perish.'' What a bold statement of courage and faith Esther was making. She did indeed go before the King and received his good favor. Haman was exposed and he was hung on the gallows he had prepared for the Jews. To this day the feast of Purim calls this story to remembrance in the minds and hearts of the Jewish people. It must also be remembered by Christians.
            Perhaps today God is dealing with you about an issue that requires total commitment. Perhaps you have not been willing to totally obey God in some area of your life. Is He calling you to the mission field? Has God given you a difficult assignment for today? Does it appear that God wants you in a situation that could be dangerous? ''Who knows but that you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?'' Are you willing to say with Esther today, ''I will obey God and if I perish, I perish."  A needy world awaits this kind of response from God's people.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
Pray that believers who are blessed with extravagant comforts and conveniences will be aware of the needs of a lost dark world. Pray that those believers will dare to leave their comfort zone to meet these needs, whatever the cost to them personally.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
“If I perish, I perish,
Esther