The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
May 8, 2016
1) "Such a Time as This" (Bobby Witherington)
2) News & Notes
"Such a Time as This"
"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 4:14).
The Old Testament book of Esther is one of two books in the Bible
named after women -- Ruth and Esther. Like the book of Ruth, Esther
is an action-packed book, which reads like a novel, but which is
completely non-fiction. The events contained in this book really
happened. They occurred after the 70-year captivity of the Jews in
Babylon; after about 50,000 Jews had returned to their native land,
and while the Medo-Persian Empire was the super power of the world.
The book of Esther opens with king Ahasuerus hosting a "feast for
all his officials and servants" at which time he showed off the
riches of his kingdom; a feast lasting for 180 days (Esther 1:1-4).
Following this feast, the king also hosted another feast lasting
seven days for all the people present in Shushan the palace, at
which time "royal wine in abundance" was served. On the seventh day,
"when the heart of the king was merry with wine," he commanded
certain eunuchs to "bring Queen Vashti," that he might "show her
beauty to the people and the officials" (Esther 1:10-11). She
"refused to come at the king's command" so she was dethroned (Esther
1:12-19). Ultimately a search was made for another person to serve
as queen; and Esther, whose Jewish nationality at the time was not
divulged, was providentially selected to serve as queen. Esther was
an orphan, who had been brought up by Mordecai, her cousin (Esther
"After these things" the king promoted Haman, a first class jerk,
above all the princes in his kingdom, and this promotion went to his
head, especially when "all the king's servants ... within the king's
gate bowed and paid homage" to him (Esther 3:1-2). However,
Mordecai, a faithful Jew, a cousin to Esther, refused to pay homage
to Haman, resulting in his being "filled with wrath" and even
determining to "destroy all the Jew ... throughout the whole kingdom
of Ahasuerus" (Esther 3:5-6).
Clearly, those were critical times! Mordecai appealed to cousin
Esther to use her womanly charm and queenly influence to persuade
the king in behalf of the Jews, even though he knew (and she knew)
that it could have meant her death! In appealing to Esther,
Mordecai reasoned, saying, "Yet who knows whether you have come to
the kingdom for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). Prayerfully and
obediently, she responded, saying, "...and if I perish, I perish"
(Esther 4: 16). To "make a long story short," she was successful,
her nation was spared, Haman was "hanged...on the gallows that he
had prepared for Mordecai" and Mordecai was promoted to being
"second to king Ahasureus" (Esther 7:10; 9:5; 10:3). To this very
day the Jews celebrate the feast of Purim, which originated during
Esther's time, and which is held in honor of the nation being
spared. And let us not forget that this was the nation from which
would come the Messiah! Thank God for Esther!
What Kind of a "Time" Was It?
Remember that Mordecai asked Esther, "who knows whether you have
come to the kingdom for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14)?
Obviously, in view of what happened during that time period, and how
the events were influenced by Esther, we know that she
(providentially) had "come to the kingdom for such a time!" But what
kind of a time was it?
1. It was a time when the king and the nation's leaders were
exceedingly wicked -- a time when a queen was deposed
because of her modesty, a time when the king would execute any
person who entered his chambers uninvited -- unless he held out the
golden scepter! Solomon said, "When the righteous are in authority,
the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan"
2. It was a time of drinking and revelry -- A time when the
"royal wine" was served in "abundance" and all were allowed to "do
according" to their "pleasure" (Esther 1:3-8).
3. It was a time of immodesty! -- When the king demanded
that Vashti display her beautiful body before the drunken and
lustful eyes of all the people present in Shushan the palace.
4. It was a time when many did not respect the sanctity of
marriage! The king got rid of Vashti through no fault of her
own. It is true that the text does not specifically say she was his
wife, but the advice he received and acted upon implies it (Esther
5. It was a time when human life was devalued! Remember, the
decree which the leaders signed called for the genocide of the Jews,
all because one God-fearing Jew refused to bow before proud,
6. It was a time when the providence of God was at work! This
reminds us of Genesis 22:14 when, after seeing the ram caught in a
thicket and being able to offer it for a burnt offering instead of
his son, Isaac, Abraham "called the name of the place,
Jehovah-Jireh" meaning "the Lord will provide...." Indeed, God did
provide the ram during Abraham's time, and He provided deliverance
to the whole nation during the time of Esther!
7. It was a time when one person could make a difference!
Esther was that person. To have refused to thus act would have been
criminal in nature. We should never underestimate the influence of
one person. For example, in 1645 one vote gave Oliver Cromwell
control of England. In 1941 one vote saved the selective service
system, just three months before Pearl Harbor!
Amazingly, some 2500 years have passed since the time of Esther.
Yet, a look at their times and a look at our times reveal a great
deal of similarity. We live in a time when many of our nation's
leaders are wicked, a time of drunkenness and revelry, a time of
extreme immodesty, when multitudes do not respect the sanctity of
marriage, and when human life is de-valued.
Regardless of when they appear in the history of man, the people of
God have "come to the kingdom for such a time" as it relates to the
generation and the society of which they are a part. Christians are
to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" (Matt.
5:13-16). As long as time lasts, they have a formidable foe, a
vicious "adversary" who walks "about like a roaring lion, seeking
whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). There will be times and places
when it will be dangerous to be a Christian (cf. John 16:2). Our own
government is becoming more and more antagonistic to the religion of
Christ. For that matter, Islam is both on the rise and on the
attack. Our children and grandchildren will likely face times
unimaginable by people born and reared in America in previous
generations. We can sit back, be quiet, play it safe and possibly
die of natural causes at the end of a "ripe old age." Or we can be
like Esther, take a stand, take whatever risk may be involved, and
refuse to give in to the forces of evil, while preaching the gospel
to the world. God is still in control! He still "rules in the
kingdom of men" (Dan. 4:17).
In today's world we need more Mordecais and more Esthers; saints who
place their trust in God and do what is right because it is right.
Such people can make a difference, because they are different! Who
are we to think we should be exempt from making the sacrifices which
sooner or later are inevitably demanded if we are to continue to
enjoy both our political and spiritual freedoms? We have "come to
the kingdom for such a time as this," and each of us individually
and all of us collectively can make a difference. Resolve to be an
Esther or a Mordecai. By so doing, you can make a difference and be
a blessing to your generation.
-- Via The Railroad Avenue Bulletin, April 2013
News & Notes
We extend our sympathies to all the family and friends of Fraysse
Augustus DeLeGal, III, who had been a native of Ware County
(GA), but had spent his last 27 years in Wayne County (GA).
Let those of us who are Christians be remembering all of his loved
ones in prayer.
Penny Medlock, who had spent a couple weeks at Saint Simons
By-the-Sea, is now back home and doing better. There had been
a need for a change in her medication that had required that
WordPress Version with picture:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith
comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John
8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10;
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
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& 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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