Have you ever felt weary from the fight? Does the state of our society ever weigh so heavily upon you that you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up? I will be the first to raise my hand and say, yes!
Day after day we wake up to news of violence, scandal, disaster, immorality, and death. At times I have found myself in fear for my children, who are growing up, and will more than likely be raising their own children, in this culture. I wonder how things will look for them as they become adults and seek to live out their faith in the midst of growing opposition to the things of God. It’s pretty discouraging when young people tell you that they question even having kids when they get older, simply because of the way the world is going.
In light of all this, it is very easy for us to get discouraged. We think back to the good ol’ days and wish we and our children had been born in better times. But if we allow ourselves to be overcome with fear and discouragement, we will become ineffective and unable to do what God has called us to.
It is no accident that you and I and our children and grandchildren were born at this time in history. As we look to God’s Word for answers regarding our society, we find Esther. Esther lived in a culture similar to ours. The nation she lived in was morally bankrupt, the region was under the rule of godless leadership, and there was seemingly no prophetic voice anywhere to be found. This is why I love and relate to her so much. She was just like me, just like you! Yet even in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, God used Esther to save her nation.
Can we really save a nation like Esther did? Esther was just a regular person. There was nothing particularly special about her; in fact, her parents had both died, leaving her an orphan and at a disadvantage in life. We are told that she was young, beautiful, and won the favor of everyone around her; other than that she was ordinary. But Esther was willing, and through that willingness, she changed the course of history.
How did one young girl take on a kingdom?
She denied herself. Esther asked for nothing before she approached the king. She came before him as she really was, not pretending to be anyone else (see Esther 2:15).
She held to her beliefs when she could easily have compromised. Esther knew what was right and stood her ground (see Esther 2:20).
She was proactive and patriotic. Esther loved her people and was willing to sacrifice everything in order to mediate for them. She instructed her people to pray and then stepped out to be their spokeswoman (see Esther 4:15–16).
She was obedient. Esther submitted herself to her Mordacai, (her cousin who adopted her after her parents died) who had ultimately challenged her to rise up. He put the fate of the Jewish nation upon her shoulders, and she rose to the occasion (see Esther 4:14).
She was courageous. Esther defied custom, put on her robes, and, risking death, approached the king (see Esther 5:1–8).
She spoke up. Esther didn’t care what the consequences were. She petitioned for what she wanted and called out the evil that was being plotted against her people (Esther 7:1–6).
She brought deliverance. Because of Esther’s courage, the Jews defeated their enemies and were granted a powerful victory over them. The king ultimately bestowed great honor upon them and granted high position within his kingdom to Mordecai.
As we look at the days in which we live, may the story of Esther give us courage to raise our children to be the spokespeople of our day. The responsibility rests on our shoulders. If we do not rise up and challenge the culture and teach our children to become “Esthers” in their world, then we have failed and will see a generation perish. The calling we have is not for the faint of heart, but it’s the one God has given us.
Lord, help us to be Esthers is the day in which we live. When the culture has plans to annihilate Your truth, help us to be bold and unapologetic in our stand. Help us to recognize the responsibility we have and to know that we and our children have been placed here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Amen.