“Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Rev George Philip preached a series of sermons on 1 Samuel 1-7, with the title, “For such a time as this.”
This title is taken from this verse in the book of Esther.
The name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther – but God is there, working out his plan.
In Esther’s day, God was there. In Samuel’s day, God was there. In our day, he is, still, “the God who is there” (the title of a book, written by Francis Schaeffer).
Go back to the days of Samuel – “the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1).
Go back to the days of Esther – the name of the Lord was conspicuous by its absence.
Come forward to our day. Do you see what we have in common with the days of Samuel and Esther?
How are we to respond to a situation where the word of the Lord and the name of the Lord mean so little to so many people?
Let us keep on believing that “for such a time as this”, God is, still at work, raising up his people, who will be faithful to him in both their speaking and their living.
Even when we are surrounded by “Death in the City” (the title of another book, written by Francis Schaeffer), let us keep on believing that the words of prophecy, from Ezekiel 37:1-14 can, still, be fulfilled in this generation –
“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”
We may feel like we’re living in a valley of dry bones – “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (verse 11) – but let us take encouragement from this: “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live … ” (verse 14).