Esther: Called to Pray
Wouldn’t you like to meet Hadassah? I would. It would be very difficult, since she lived five centuries before Christ. So until we’re in heaven, I guess we’ll just have to
settle for reading her story. It’s in the Bible. It’s in the book of the Old Testament that’s named after her, that bears her other name: Esther. Hollywood could never compare with the story of Esther. How many of you have ever heard the story? Then you know the drama and you know the passion. And you know about Hamaan, the
evil culprit who wanted to exterminate the Jewish people. You know about Mordecai, the gutsy cousin of Esther, who refused to bow in his presence.
You’ve heard the phrase of Mordecai when he said, “For such a time as this, you are called to be queen.” And you know the response of Esther: “If I perish, I perish.” It’s full of lines. It’s full of moments.
But what I would like for you to see today is that the book of Esther is more than just a historical, factual story, which it is. It is a true, historical event, again,
commemorated by the Jewish people every year at the Feast of Purim. But it’s much more than that. It’s a spiritual analogy. It’s a picture—a dramatization of what happens
when you pray. And all the main characters found in the book of Esther are found in your life. Let me tell you what I mean.
The king in the story in the book of Esther is a man by the name of Xerxes. As far as I know, he’s the only man in the Bible whose name begins with an X. (If you ever
answer that question on Jeopardy, I get $64 of your $120.) He has another name, which is Ahaserarus, which is remarkably akin to what happens when you have a cold.
You don’t have to worry about that name. Xerxes is the one that we are going to be using today.
King Xerxes ruled ancient Persia, as an absolute sovereign king. Please
underline the word “absolute.” All he had to do was raise his eyebrow and destiny would be changed in any of the 127 provinces that were under his control. They
ranged from as far off as Ethiopia up through what is called today Turkey over toIndia. And he ruled with a rule of a Persian king.
In that sense, he is a picture of our King—the King of Kings, the Almighty God. And in the story of Esther, he reminds us of the one with absolute sovereignty. For though
you may think that you are the one determining your destiny, God has already determined your destiny, and your role is to respond or not respond to what He’s
called you to be.
He’s the One who has dug out the trench of the river of history and your choice is simply whether or not you want to be obedient or not.