Sunday, 16 August 2015

Ramblings on Esther: For such a time as this


I was re-reading Esther, and after all this time, I guess the one thing that still sticks in my mind is Mordecai's question to Esther: "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b)

Who knows if you were born into this time, into this place, into this situation for such a time as this?
Who knows if you gained this position, this authority, this stature, this voice for such a time as this?

Because these are dark times for Malaysia. And if you, who were born and bred here, do not stay and build, who will?

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I wish I could remember the song Josh wrote for Star of Persia. All I can remember is the first half of the chorus - "For such a time as this, I live to serve my people, now I know what I was meant to do" (I think. Something like that. hahahahahaha THAT WAS 12 YEARS AGO OKAY.)

I also wish the songs were on youtube because they're nice. But songs only, no video. hahahahah.

I should rewatch it and cringe at my awkward hands and facial expressions. And my ducky runny nose voice.
Not. NEVER GOING TO REWATCH IT. Never ever ever ever ever.

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I like the way God fixes up the events in Esther where Haman, puffed up with pride at the honour the King and the Queen are giving him, is suddenly humiliated by having to honour the one guy he really wants to kill. And it's like the King could have remembered to honour Mordecai anytime before that event, but he didn't until that one sleepless night.

It's also interesting that Zeresh says "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him," to Haman right before the fateful banquet. It's like, these Jews were captives in a foreign land, and yet God's reputation still went before them. He fights their battles. He keeps them alive. He prospers them in adversity. You will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.

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We are sometimes strangers in our own land. But it is our land, because God has given it to us.

Some are called to go. Go far away, spread the gospel far and wide, live by faith. Bring the good news to the people who need it.

But most of us are called to stay. Not to stay to be complacent, or to stay and wait for heaven, but to stay and build where we are, so that we can be a blessing to the people around us who do not yet know God, and so that we can channel these blessings to them and to those who have been called to go. We stay because the people around us need the gospel too.

It's easier now. We live in a glocal society. We're local - we meet the needs of the people around us, of the community that surrounds us, and yet we are also global - with the touch of a button, with the click of a mouse, we are connected to many far flung places. It is a boon, and a curse.
A boon, because we can reach many people in many places at the same time.
A curse, because we then forget that these are real people, with real problems, and not everything can be solved with some screen time.

But this is the time we have been born in. A special time. A crazy time. A time with unknown possibilities unfurling before us.
And if you have been born for such a time as this, what seed has God planted in you that will bring glory to His name? What are you going to water in your life so that when that moment comes you are ready to step forth into the plan that He has for your life?

That is a question you need to answer.

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At the end of Esther, it isn't that the decree to kill the Jews has been revoked. The King can't do that because he isn't above the law (ha ha ha. *ahem*). But what the King can do is to issue another decree that would maybe supercede or change the outcome of the first one. And the King, being this weird person who likes to delegate things to other people (didn't he learn with Haman?) lets Mordecai do whatever he wants with his signet ring.

And crafty old Mordecai uses this to totally annihilate all the enemies of the Jews that were hiding in the land of Persia. [Eh, not just Persia - the message goes out to all the provinces, even from India to Ethopia.]

How's that for retribution?

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I think God has been stirring things up, both here in Ignite in San Jose, and back home in PCC in Penang. There's an expectation, a waiting, a hoping for things to come.
Sometimes it feels like there's a long way more to go.
But sometimes it feels like it's almost here.

The question is if we will respond as Esther did - firstly with a call to prayer, and then with an act of faith.

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