For Such a Time as This

In the historical account of Esther recorded in the Bible, King Xerxes, King of Persia, made Esther Queen of his kingdom. She was a Jewess and won favor with the King. She had a very difficult decision to make. A man named Haman, who had a high position in Xerxes’ kingdom, persuaded the King to annihilate the Jewish people in the kingdom because of his hatred for Queen Esther’s Uncle Mordecai and for all of the Jews. When Mordecai found out about the plan of Haman to destroy his people, he wept, fasted, and called out to God in prayer. Mordecai relayed a message to Esther. He told her that God is able to deliver the Jewish people if she remained silent but “who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14).” Esther risked her life if the King had not asked her to approach him.  So she called on the people to fast and pray. She was willing to go to the King even if it was against royal law and risk her life. God delivered her and her people in an amazing way. I would suggest you read the rest of the story in this wonderful Old Testament account.

Today we have a different kind of a threat that affects our nation and many nations around the world. The COVID-19 virus has been a different kind of threat where many have the same feelings of fear, panic, and mistrust. We may feel things are completely out of control and chaotic. Many have lost jobs or are furloughed. Many feel isolated and lonely. As time goes on, we have the temptation to blame and become more disunified with a sense of hopelessness.

This is why the story of Esther is appropriate. It is now, more than ever, that the Church in America must come together for “such a time as this!” The National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday in May each year (May 7 this year). It is a great time to pray for our country; its leaders, healthcare workers of all kinds, researchers and scientists, for those who are grieving with loss, and for those who fear.
Chisholm Baptist Church is an official site for the National Day of Prayer again this year. If you would like to participate, just drive to the parking lot and stay in your vehicles, and we will give instructions from there. You will be given information and the plan will be to take a prayer drive to specific locations. We will start at noon, as many will around our country.

The Bible says that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:5-7).” As we humble ourselves and pray together, God will lift us up.

As we act upon our prayers, we can call a neighbor or friend and encourage them. We can offer a meal and place it at someone’s door or volunteer at a food shelf. We can learn a little about technology and video conference someone in.

“For such a time as this…” There is great hope for our world through Jesus, God’s Son, who intimately knows suffering. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Rev. Mark Anderson
Associate Pastor
Chisholm Baptist Church
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