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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Terry Meeuwsen: From Rags to Riches

You probably remember Esther’s amazing rags-to-riches story. She was a beautiful Jewish girl in Susa, the capital city of Persia. Esther had to leave her home. Now established in the royal palace as queen, she learned of an evil plot to destroy all the Jews across the empire. Mordecai, her uncle, heard about it, too, and in great distress sent an urgent message to Esther. He urged her to approach the king and plead for the life of her people.

But Esther hesitated.

Who wouldn’t? The penalty for entering the king’s presence without a specific invitation was death. (I wonder how he would have handled telemarketers calling during the dinner hour?) Under extraordinary circumstances, the king might extend his golden scepter and spare the petitioner’s life—but the prospects of taking that sort of chance were terrifying.

The young queen reported all these things in a message to her guardian, and he sent back this word ... this small slice of dialogue I can’t get out of my mind.

“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14, NKJV)

Notice the second sentence in Mordecai’s message: “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place ...” In other words, Mordecai was saying, “I have faith that the God of our Fathers will not allow His people to be totally destroyed in this way. Somehow, He will step in. Somehow, He will spare a remnant of His people. If you sit back and remain silent, Esther, God will use someone else to achieve His purposes. But you are His first choice, and it’s up to you how you’re going to respond.”

Esther determined to step into this God adventure—this opportunity to save her people. Esther said, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16 NKJV).

When God wants something done, when He has some kingdom “mission impossible” to accomplish, He goes looking for a man or woman to take the assignment. The Bible tells us that “the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NASB).

He’s looking for people who will take on risky operations of love and mercy. He is looking for men and women who will put His will above everything else in life. And every now and then, perhaps even today, His eye rests on you, and He offers you that opportunity.

You can take it, or you can let it go by. If you don’t do it, He’ll probably select someone else— “relief and deliverance will arise…from another place”— and the job will get done. But you won’t even be able to imagine what you’ve missed!

Excerpted with permission from The God Adventure, by Terry Meeuwsen © 2005

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