If you were raised in the church, chances are you’ve heard the story of Esther at least a dozen times in various Bible classes. You know how it goes: King Ahasuerus needs a queen, Esther gets picked, and she goes on to save her people from genocide. Oftentimes we focus on Esther’s bravery in going before the king even though she could be killed for doing so (Esther 4:16, 5:1-2). However, there’s another significant thought nearby that often gets overlooked.
Esther’s uncle Mordecai goes to inform Esther of the danger facing the Jews, and presents her with what is (in my opinion) one of the most beautifully convicting statements in the entire Bible. Take a look at verse 14.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
This Scripture hits me on several levels. Of course, the obvious thought is that God has a plan—He placed Esther in her royal position so that she could go on to save the Jews. However, I recently realized that this opportunity came disguised as a blessing. From what I can see in the text, Esther didn’t try out for the queen job. She “was taken to the king’s palace” (2:8), probably out of the blue. What’s more, she was then chosen from a presumably large group of women because “the king loved Esther more than all the other virgins, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins” (2:17a).
I don’t know about you, but if I were Esther I wouldn’t really be thinking about opportunities. I’d probably be thanking God for his blessing, but mostly I’d be thinking, “This is a pretty sweet gig I’ve got here.” Usually when we’re focusing on the fact that God has a plan for our lives, it’s because something is going wrong and we want to see an upside, but you know what? He has a plan for us when things are going well too! Next time you find that you’ve received an unexpected blessings, think of Esther. You’re probably supposed to do something for God with it. You might have attained royalty for such a time as this.
1. What kinds of opportunities has God placed in my life lately? (Don’t just list the ones you’ve noticed—stretch your memory to look for more.)
2. How can I use the current problems in my life to God’s glory?
3. How can I use the current blessings in my life to God’s glory?