September 23, 2017

For Such A Time As This

By Irvin Himmel

The ten-tribe kingdom (Israel) had been destroyed by the Assyrians and its people taken into exile. The Babylonians afterward had defeated the Assyrians, emerging as a world power. The two-tribe kingdom (Judah) had been taken captive following Babylon’s rise to power. Now Babylon had lost its dominance and the Persians were ruling.

A lovely Jewish woman known as Esther had become the queen through the providence of God. A wicked man named Haman had persuaded the king to issue a decree, which, if carried out, would result in the extermination of the whole Jewish race.

Mordecai, a relative of Esther, urged her to speak to king Ahasuerus. Admittedly, it was dangerous for anyone, including the queen, to speak to the king uninvited. He had the power of life and death. People normally waited until they were called by the king before attempting to discuss any matter with him. But this matter was of utmost urgency! Esther seemed to be in the best situation of anyone to talk to the king about Haman’s plot.

Mordecai said to Esther, “. . . Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Mordecai was thinking that perhaps the very reason Esther had been made queen was so God could use her to preserve his people from utter destruction (Esth. 4:14).

The story of the book of Esther is of absorbing interest. It turned out that Esther was in the right place “for such a time as this.” She courageously spoke to the king and saved her people.

The time in which we live may be one of crisis, opportunity, challenge, or difficulty. Whatever the case, “for such as time as this” (our own day), there are needs to be met.

This is a time when many younger people do not respect elders in the church. For such a time as this, a young person can have a good influence on others by setting the example of working respectfully and harmoniously with the elders. Remember Peter’s exhortation, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder” (1 Pet. 5:5).

This is a time when women’s rights are being dis- cussed and championed. For such a time as this, young women who are Christians can show their faith in the word of God by remaining in subjection to their own husbands (Eph. 5:22; 1 Pet. 3:1) and by complying with the restrictions of 1 Timothy 2:12. Older women can teach the younger women “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit. 2:3-5).

This is a time when many are indifferent to their responsibilities as christians. For such a time as this, the faithful should renew their efforts to show zeal, enthusiasm, and fervor of spirit. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11). Others can be admonished and encouraged.

This is a time when certain self-appointed critics are downgrading gospel preaching as a “tradition” that needs discarding. For such a time as this, we need people who will stand flatfooted on such passages as 1 Corinthians 1:21 and 9:16. Let us say with Paul, “I am ready to preach the gospel.”

This is a time when immorality among teenagers has become an accepted lifestyle. For such a time as this, a teenager who is a Christian needs to keep himself pure. “Everybody is doing it” does not justify wrong. Paul urged the young preacher Timothy to “keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22). There are some teenagers who have committed themselves to moral purity and are keeping their resolve.

This is a time when material things have become an obsession and people are too preoccupied to think about their souls. For such a time as this, a truly spiritually- minded person stands tall like a giant. The Scriptures teach, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1, 2).

This is a time when religion has become a tangled network of endless confusion. For such a time as this, the New Testament points us to the simplicity of the apostolic order of things. Cultism, denominationalism, sectarianism, and humanism are perversions. The Word of God shines brightly to illuminate one’s pathway.

This is a time when “political correctness” has distorted the thinking of the public mind. For such a time as this, God’s people must continue to speak out against lying, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, gambling, and all other such evils. Some who know the judgment of God against wickedness, not only do wicked things, “but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom.1:32).

This is a time of competition, tension, and hurrying to and fro. For such a time as this, we need the Good Shepherd to calmly lead us beside still waters. Jehovah said through the psalmist, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Concerning matters beyond our control, let us relax and trust in the Lord. The same Master who calmed the troubled waters of Galilee can bring serenity and tranquillity to our lives. Our anxieties only add to the complications. One’s life can be powerful without being a raging storm.

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