By Mike Riley
In looking at history, we see that great events have occurred around some person of great influence, i.e., Harry Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In times of great national distress, it is nothing short of providential that certain people have been placed in certain places with certain qualifications, i.e., George W. Bush and 9-11 attacks.
As Christians, our influence also has far-reaching results (1 Thessalonians 1). We may not even realize the small part that we play in the process, but to the extent that we influence history, we are instruments of destiny.
A case in point is the providence found in the story of Esther. At the beginning of the story, we see the wife of King Xerxes (Vashti) being ousted because of her stubbornness and refusal to attend a royal banquet (Esther 1). Because her defiance was looked upon as a threat to the king’s supremacy and authority, a decree was put out against her and fair young virgins were sought to replace her. The king was smitten with Esther’s beauty and as a result, was made queen in place of Vashti (Esther 2).
Esther disclosed a plot to exterminate all of the Jews and assassinate King Xerxes (Esther 2:21-23; Esther 3). Because of her position as queen, Esther was able to spare her people from disaster. However, there was a real danger, in that she herself might not survive when her real identity as a Jewess was discovered (Esther 4).
When Esther’s relative, Mordecai, saw her unique position as queen, he urged her to reveal the plot to the king. He challenged her with the same haunting question which now lays claim on us:
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ESV).
As lights shining in a world of spiritual darkness (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:14-16), are we not instruments of destiny? (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:16-23).
Let’s think about it!