“For Such A Time As This”
There is a book in the Bible which is all about the rescue of the Jewish people from a threatened massacre. The villain is a man named Haman, who wanted to destroy all the Jews. The hero is a Jew named Mordecai and the heroine a Jewess named Esther. It might seem strange to devote a whole book to what seems to be a political matter, especially when God’s name is not mentioned once in the whole book. But one of the great themes of the Hebrew Bible is that the preservation of the people of Israel is a matter of divine concern, and God works against those who seek to destroy Israel.*
One very interesting feature of the book is the reluctance of Esther to get involved in the deliverance of the people of Israel. Her uncle, Mordecai, reminds her that God could deliver Israel without her help, but her evading of responsibility would be punished. His closing argument is very powerful. He asks, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
People wish they had been born in quieter times, and some people don’t like to acknowledge the fact that Israel’s survival is threatened. They say if Israel is more flexible, the people who have murdered their school children will prove to be very reasonable rulers over a de-Zionized Palestine. But there are moral issues involved, and one of these is the right of a free nation to live at peace within secure borders. Of all people, the Christians who believe in the Bible, including the book of Esther, should be prepared to take a stand against the proposed elimination of the people of Israel. Like Esther, we may have been given influence and a voice to use at “such a time as this”.
* The Jewish Feast of Purim originated out of the events recorded in the Book of Esther. For Jewish people the world over, it is a joyous holiday commemorating the defeat of Haman who sought the destruction of the Jewish people. It occurs this year on March 4.