". . . for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 NASBGod's Will and Your WillI want to release my faith with you. Submit your prayer requests throughout the video. You can also go to johncarmichael.net for some more resources including t-shirts that can help you share your faith.
Posted by John Carmichael on Monday, June 10, 2019
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NASB
A Doctrine With Tentacles
God’s sovereignty gets pitted against the human agency. The discussion has been going on for centuries. The arguments center on the idea as to whether God’s Will always happen for everyone regardless of human will. Before we dismiss this argument as just something that theologian nerds fight about, we need to understand that the ramifications of the discussions have real world and right now effects. The doctrine of the interaction of God’s Will and human will affects our prayer life, our pursuit or lack of pursuit for miracles and, to the extreme, whether we should evangelize.
A Part of the Picture
I am not suggesting that this post will ultimately bring peace to the theological tension of the debate. What I am suggesting is that this verse in the book of Esther should be part of the discussion. There are some crucial issues that Mordecai brings up to Esther. I am going to use this verse as descriptive of what happened and prescriptive as to whether we can get doctrine from it.
Not Romantic, But A Rebuke
I am sure you have seen the phrase before; “. . . for such a time as this?” I have seen the end of verse 14 stitched in wall hangings, written on cards and even spoken to people as motivational. It is not lost on me that there is a “?” at the end of the phrase. That part is often missing. What is also missing is that there is nothing romantic about this statement. It is a rebuke.
Esther was taken as queen. The Jews were in exile due to their rebellion against God. The king wanted a new queen. Esther was chosen. At the same time, a plot is contrived to kill all the Jews. Mordecai is instructing Esther to use her position to stop the plot. She is understandably nervous about this prospect. Maybe she is even refusing. Mordecai seeks to persuade her to overcome her fear and do something. He suggests that this might be the reason she is in the palace in the first place. He lets her know that God is going to deliver the Jews regardless of her decision. They will be saved, but not her, if she refuses.
It Is Both
Verse 14 shows the interaction of the Will of God and the will of humans. First, we see that God’s Will, in general, will get done. Mordecai says that God will raise up a deliverer, even if Esther refuses. This is God’s Sovereign Will on display. God ultimately will get His Will accomplished.
Secondly, we see human will affects specific results. Mordecai tells her that while the Jews will be saved, she will only be saved by her decision to obey and do something. God wanted to save Esther and the Jews. Esther could have perished against the will of God if she had chosen poorly. Therefore, from this verse, God’s sovereign plan will get accomplished in general, but His specific plan for Esther relied on her choice.
That Was Then, What About Today
I believe this interaction affects the real world right now. Let’s examine one area that we all deal with from time to time. This could apply to any number of subjects; for now, we will look at the area is physical healing. I believe that physical healing is available to us through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I believe that is God’s Will for us to experience physical healing as well as spiritual and mental (See Isaiah 53:4-5 and many other scriptures.)
In general, we see God’s Will to make healing available to humanity has already been accomplished. There are other aspects that need to be considered. One of the aspects as to an individual experiencing physical healing has to do with their decision to believe and act in faith for healing. I want to note that we will die sometime, so we can not always avoid death by using our faith. I also want to note that there is an aspect of the “now and not yet” as it relates to the Kingdom of God on the earth. These are not cop-outs to explain why someone did not get healed. These are real-life considerations as it relates to healing. The point is that we can not blame whether someone experiences healing just on God’s Will. We can not blame God because someone does not receive physical healing on this side of heaven. Healing is available in general by God’s Will. We have a role as to whether we experience it specifically in our lives.
One Last Note: What About Prayer
Esther asks the Jews to go on a fast, and I assume to pray after she agreed to follow God’s Will. Why? Could it be assumed that if you chose to cooperate with God’s Will that everything is okay?
This reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:8-9, “. . . your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray . . .” Notice the next word after we find out that God already knows our needs and is willing to help. Pray. Why do we need to pray if God knows what we need and wants to help us? Apparently, there are spiritual protocols or laws of faith or whatever you want to label them; there are forces and laws that govern whether we see miracles.
Even when God wants to do something, and we choose to believe and obey, God wants us to pray and fast.
My prayer for you: “Father, I pray for my friends that Your Will will be accomplished in their lives. I pray that as they make a decision to believe and obey You, that they will experience all that You have for them. We release our faith right now, in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
Your Confession: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I submit my life to the Will of God. I lay aside my own plans, purposes, and goals. I choose to only do what God has called me to do. I will experience God’s Will in my life today!”
What do you think? Leave comments below.
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Pastor John Carmichael, MDiv