- 2020 - March: For Such a Time As This- Part 2
- 2020 - February: For Such a Time As This- Part 1
- 2020 - January: The Man I Might Have Been
“For Such a Time as This” – Part 2
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Last month, we opened the story of Esther and studied the amazing parallels to the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan in the characters, types, and symbols of the events involved.
This month, we are going to look at the thrilling epic plot to destroy God’s church in one day and the powerful deliverance wrought by the precarious risk of Esther and Mordecai. You will see clearly how this “children’s story” actually has an important message for us who are living in the last generation.
Let us open with prayer. Our Father in heaven, teach us, we pray, about the things that are coming upon your true church in these last days. May the story of Esther come alive to us as you intended it. Open our understanding that we may see your sustaining and guiding hand in the shadows, keeping watch above your own. In Jesus’ name, amen.
As we begin, let me read an important statement from Prophets and Kings, page 605: “The trying experiences that came to God’s people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone. The revelator, looking down the ages to the close of time, has declared, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17. … The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church will in the future lead to the pursuance of a similar course toward those who maintain their loyalty to God. Even now preparations are being made for this last great conflict.”
This statement gives us some insight into the future, but also into the story of Esther. It actually suggests that Esther is a type of the remnant church. Imagine the wisdom of God in placing a story in the Bible that has principles so perfectly suited to teach us what to expect in the near future. Those who do not have a clear understanding of prophecy and end time events will have a difficult time comprehending the deeper things in the book of Esther. But those who do will find in the story of Esther a revelation that goes way beyond the story itself. And this is the way God often works. He operates in the shadows. He sends coded messages to His people. If they are tuned in, and they know the encryption, they can understand the message and prepare. All it requires is a spiritual mind that earnestly seeks to know and experience God’s truth.
Last month, we learned that Ahasuerus plays a role that symbolizes God’s place on the larger stage of the Great Controversy. Vashti symbolizes the Hebrew church which was deposed from being God’s chosen church because of its failure to obey Christ and represent Him properly. And Esther specifically represents the remnant people, whose beautiful character reveals Christ to the world in fullness and beauty. Mordecai strongly represents Christ in many ways throughout the story. He adopted Esther as Christ adopts His church. He sits in the gate of the palace securing the way to the king, just as Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, secures the way to the Father for the repentant soul, for Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” He is also one of the two antagonists, just as Christ is one of the two great antagonists contending for supremacy. We noted that the sanctuary message and the purification of God’s people is also in the story of Esther, as is the Day of Pentecost, the Lord’s Supper, the time of trouble, and numerous other powerful types representing events to come and God’s love and care for His people.
In the story, Esther is the last woman, apparently, to come to the court. Chapter two, verse 8, says that after “many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.” Obviously, Mordecai waited until after the other maidens had arrived before he let Esther go to the court. No doubt he wanted to send her last so that the impression she made would not be lost among all the others. And doesn’t Jesus save the best for last? His remnant church and those that constitute it will have the greatest amount of light. Their characters will be the most beautifully developed in all of history. Sadly today, too many of those claiming to be part of the remnant don’t comprehend our privilege and calling. No doubt God will have to bypass those that fail to live up to it. Did you notice how Esther was given the best place in the house of women? The remnant church has the greatest light, the greatest privileges, and the greatest opportunities. How dare we squander them in selfish worldliness?
Furthermore, Esther was the last to go in before the king, because she then became his bride. When Ahasuerus saw her, he had no need of other women. There are other women involved in the story which are not finally chosen, suggesting that there are other churches that for a time have their place in God’s work: the Lutherans, Calvinists, Methodists, etc. But after a time, they drop away (perhaps because of their failure to advance with light and truth). For the last crisis in the history of the world, which is prefigured by the book of Esther, God chooses the remnant church to represent Him fully.
Chapter three of the book of Esther opens with a new character: “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.”
Notice that Haman is an Agagite. Who were the Agagites? These were direct descendants of King Agag whom Samuel cut in pieces when Saul disobeyed God and did not utterly destroy the Amalekites and all their assets. This was when Samuel made his famous statement to Saul: “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22. Apparently, some of Agag’s family had been spared by Saul and were still around, or perhaps more likely, some of Agag’s descendants were in other nations through the common practice of intermarriage among royalty. Nevertheless, Haman no doubt made his way up through the ranks of the Persian government during the first four years of Esther’s reign as Queen of Persia. No doubt Haman knew the story of how the Jews destroyed his ancestors and his nation. No doubt there would be a natural animosity in his heart against the Jews because of this.
Haman is a type of Satan. He loves to be worshipped. Haman was seated above all the other princes in authority just like Lucifer was in heaven above the angels. The king made him the grand vizier, or the prime minister, of Persia. Ahasuerus also issued a decree that all the king’s servants must reverence or worship this man and prostrate themselves before him as was the custom among the Orientals. In the Great Controversy, God makes no such decree, but He does allow Satan to make his own decrees which create the same effect. Remember that in allegory, not every point should be expected to apply exactly. God is trying to show us principles through human agencies that will be repeated in our day.
Verse 2 says, “And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.”
The command of the king required an act of worship, the worship of a man set up above all other men. Revelation 13:4 says that “they worshipped the dragon [that’s Satan] which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast.” The beast is the antichrist, the Pope in Rome, who is Satan’s representative on earth. Notice that in worshipping the beast, they are also worshipping the dragon or Satan because the dragon gave him his power (says Rev. 13:2). In Haman we have a representative of Satan and the beast in human form. Mordecai cannot worship this man and be loyal to God. Haman represents both the antichrist and the dragon in the Great Controversy, the arch-enemies of God’s people.
To worship Haman would be unthinkable. Likewise Christ, of whom Mordecai is a type, in the wilderness of temptation, refused to bow to Satan, the enemy of God’s people. Would to God that His people today were as loyal to Him as Mordecai! Today, we often have “Haman the Agagite” in our homes and in our lives. There is “Haman, the soap opera,” “Haman, the football game,” “Haman, the smutty magazine,” “Haman, the low-cut dress,” “Haman, the earring,” “Haman, the refrigerator,” “Haman, the box of chocolates,” “Haman, the coffee pot,” “Haman, the caffeine drink,” and even “Haman, the wine glass.” Perhaps you can think of the Haman in your life. Anything that rules our lives, beclouds our minds, disobeys God, reduces our loyalty to God, or takes time away from our worship of God directly or indirectly is a “Haman” in our home. May God help His people to be free from this menace! May God’s people wake up soon before it is too late.
This also brings us to the key issues in the Great Controversy. Satan has always sought to usurp the homage that belongs to Christ. The central argument in the Controversy is over loyalty and worship. Here in this story, we see the same principle at work. Haman is given worship by the whole realm through the princes representing the 127 provinces of the entire kingdom, just as Satan will be given the worship and homage of the whole world, except for a few people who will resist him right up to the very end.
The king’s servants were curious about this. People just don’t disobey the command of the king or his prime minister. Verse 3 and 4 say, “Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.”
This is understandable. These are Mordecai’s colleagues. You know how it is when someone is different from everybody else, especially when it appears to be in defiance of an established rule or principle. Everybody wants to know why: Why don’t you eat meat? Why don’t you dance? Why don’t you watch football games or other television programs? Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that?
Mordecai told them that he was a Jew. He had no choice. This was the truth. This meant that his colleagues and Haman were going to assume that if one Jewish man would defy the king’s decree on religious grounds, so would all of the Jews. Haman would naturally see this as a conspiracy. Likewise, in the last generation, God’s people will be targeted as a group, as well as individuals. They will be targeted collectively as those involved in conspiracy and treason against the government.
And sure enough, Haman discovered that Mordecai would not bow down to him. The Scriptures say in verses 5 and 6 that “when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.” However, we are told that “he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.”
Notice that Haman was wroth. Mordecai was an affront to his pride and selfishness which was easy for him to interpret as treason. Do you think it will be easy for the enemies of God’s people to interpret their actions and loyalty to God as treason? Of course, it will. In fact, that is exactly how God’s faithful people will be characterized—as unpatriotic, conspirators, extremists, and traitors.
Listen to this interesting statement from Prophets and Kings, page 605: “The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God’s people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.”
Think about this. At the end of time, the enemies of God and His church see a Mordecai in the gate. The church is to represent Christ. They live by His law, and in a way, they are treated as Christ was treated. Mordecai was the object of Haman’s wrath, just like Christ is the object of Satan’s wrath. Haman intended to kill all of Mordecai’s people, just like Satan intends to destroy all of Christ’s people, His last true church on earth. They will be scattered no doubt, just like the Jews were scattered all over the provinces of Persia. They will not likely have a visible legal structure to protect them or guide them. They will be left to the mercy and guidance of God.
So now, Haman begins a conspiracy of his own in an effort to counteract the conspiracy that he imagines the Jews are developing against him. He begins to plan against all the Jews because of Mordecai. But he has to make sure that he has the favor of the gods, so he casts the lot, as it says in verse 7, for almost a whole year, looking for the right time to approach King Ahasuerus. Finally, it is decided, and Haman goes to the king.
Chapter 3:8, 9: “And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”
Haman accuses the Jews of treason. He lies about them. He tells partial truths. He makes sweeping generalizations. He even tries to bribe the king. Notice Haman’s statement about the Jews: “Neither keep they the king’s laws.” Was that true? No. They were known as law-abiding citizens. Jeremiah had strongly admonished them to be law-abiding citizens wherever they would be. Faithful Jews only broke the civil law when it conflicted with a law of God, such as what Mordecai was doing. Do you think that a time is coming when you will be faced with the same situation? Do you think that you will ever have to break a civil law of the land in order to be loyal to the law of God? I do. It is called the national Sunday law, and there will eventually be a universal Sunday law, too. Here, God has given us in the story of Esther a forecast of the national Sunday law. We know about it from other Scriptures, but its principles are embedded in this story. That national Sunday law is about worship of Satan in opposition to the worship of God, isn’t it? This same principle is found in the story of Esther.
It is very interesting to note that all through history, the largest numbers of people persecuted for any reason have always been Sabbatarians, that is, Bible Sabbath keepers. And in the final crisis it will again be Sabbath keepers who are the target of oppression. The Jews in World War 2 were Sabbath keepers, weren’t they? The Christians in the early church were Sabbath keepers, too. During the Dark Ages, many of the Jews were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church—they too, of course, were Sabbatarians. And so were some of the Waldenses and others who have always been loyal to God’s law. And now we see it again in the story of Esther. The Jews were singled out for genocide, just like Sabbath keepers will be targeted in the last generation.
One wonders what it will be like to be targeted for genocide. Read the accounts of the Jews during the Holocaust. It will all happen again, even in this enlightened age. Have you noticed how some people have acted in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States? There is a spirit of revenge that plays itself out in acts of abuse and even murder. These things go beyond reason. Iraq has become America’s scapegoat, its way of getting revenge. A number of American soldiers, for example, have been accused by the American military of murder, war crimes, and lesser charges over incidents in Iraq that went beyond reason. There is an increasing anger and thirst for blood that, according to Scripture, tells us that the end is near. Watch what happens on the news concerning the way angry people treat others. One day that anger will be turned against God’s people. It is all spelled out in The Great Controversy. Some will even try to assault God’s people to take their lives before the death decree deadline.
Listen to this awesome statement from The Great Controversy, page 631: “The heavenly sentinels, faithful to their trust, continue their watch. Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.”
Please note that in the case of the Jews in the days of Esther, as well as during the crisis at the end of time, the general death decree bypasses the court system. You cannot expect to have a fair hearing in court. God will have to use other means to preserve His people. After all, isn’t that what He wants to do anyway, so that we will not depend on the arm of flesh or the arm of the law to defend and protect us? Do you think there will be a general breakdown of the court systems of this world? Absolutely. Do you think that there will be a general breakdown of democratic and republican governments that will be replaced with various forms of dictators? I would not be surprised at all. Your only hope in the final crisis will be the angels of God.
Speaking of angels, here is another statement from page 630 of The Great Controversy: “Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience. With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril. But they must wait yet a little longer. The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism. The very delay, so painful to them, is the best answer to their petitions. As they endeavor to wait trustingly for the Lord to work they are led to exercise faith, hope, and patience, which have been too little exercised during their religious experience.”
I want to be spiritually ready for that, don’t you? Thank God for angels that excel in strength. Do you think Esther had the angels by her side? Absolutely. Do you think the same God has angels stationed by your side in every emergency? Of course He does. If you are faithful to God through Christ’s power, you can have confidence that His angels that excel in strength are with you, too.
Verses 10 and 11: “And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.”
We are told that “Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was trying to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God.” That’s Prophets and Kings, page 600. Notice that Haman is characterized as “the Jews’ enemy.” Likewise, Satan is the enemy of all spiritual Jews. Remember the Scripture that says, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If you are one of those, Satan is on your track.
Notice also that Haman must ask Ahasuerus for the authority to hurt God’s people. Likewise, Satan must ask God’s permission to bring trouble on us, including the great time of trouble. Remember the story of Job? Satan had to get permission before he could touch him.
It is interesting to see that in verse 15 we are told that posts went out all over the kingdom. It was Cyrus that had established the Persian postal system, using fast horses and relay stations all throughout the kingdom. The “pony express” was not the first of its kind. So the news traveled rather quickly, and it wasn’t long before the Jews were in deep anguish. Their great time of trouble had come. And God’s people were not ready for it.
Do you think God’s people would be ready if the time of trouble came upon us now? I don’t think so. Satan’s purpose is to keep his plans hidden for as long as possible and to keep God’s people asleep in their sins so that they will not be ready for the almost overwhelming surprise that will overtake them like a thief in the night. My friends, we must get ready! Do not delay.
Satan is still at it.
I’m reading now from the fifth volume of the Testimonies for the Church, page 450 and 451. In connection with the story of Esther, Ellen White writes:
”The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman toward Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done him harm, but he had refused to show him reverence which belongs only to God. The king’s decision against the Jews was secured under false pretenses through misrepresentation of that peculiar people. Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God.
“The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God. Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith. By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a ‘Thus saith the Scriptures’ to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people.”
Here again we see type meeting anti-type. God has given us a very clear illustration of the future of His faithful people. Shouldn’t we take heed and prepare for it? How is your spiritual walk with God? Can you be a Mordecai in the gate? Can you be an Esther who will act in the fear of God when circumstances demand it? I pray that you will! I pray that I will. It would be an inestimable tragedy if anyone listening to this CD would compromise in order to avoid the human consequences of obedience to God. May God help you to be faithful. All these things that we clearly see happened in the time of Esther will happen again during the final crisis.
Chapter 4:1-3: “When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.”
In these verses we learn that there is a time of trouble coming upon the people of God. God’s people are blamed for things of which they are not guilty. This causes them great anguish—the worst they have ever experienced. Have you ever been through anything like that? I have. I know what it feels like, and I know the anguish of heart that goes with it. I’ve not felt the strength or the intensity of the final time of trouble, of course, but I know just by personal experience how some of these things feel. These Sabbath keepers were placed in the most unfavorable light and visited with the severest penalty, though they had done nothing worthy of such treatment.
Likewise, circumstances in the final crisis will bring God’s faithful remnant into great anguish. The remnant will have done nothing worthy of death. They have given the warning, and they have exposed the false sabbath. But the world loving multitudes, including some of their fellow church members and even their leaders, will abandon them and accuse them. They will become their worst enemies. Have you ever had close friends turn on you? I have. I know what it is like. It makes you wonder if there is a God of justice out there. It tests your faith. It makes you feel isolated and alone. It makes you question your experience and your life mission. It takes all your energy to hang on to Christ. That is the way it is going to be during the time of trouble—only worse. During Esther’s crisis, she had to come face to face with her mission and her calling. Why was she there in the kingdom? The God who has all foreknowledge had placed her there for “such a time as this.” The same God, who still has all foreknowledge, has also placed you where you are for “such a time as this.”
Mordecai’s response is no doubt similar to how Christ feels when His church is in anguish. No doubt He too is grieved and longs to deliver them. Yet it is often the very crisis that the church needs to purify it and make it what Christ wants it to be. No doubt Mordecai must have anguished over the disobedience of God’s people in remaining in Babylon when they had the chance to leave. It was those who stayed in Babylon, particularly himself, that were the reason for the death decree which would not only involve those in Shushan but all Jews in the whole realm, including those who had gone back to Judea. Yet he knew the mercy of God and that God’s purpose for Israel was not yet accomplished.
Esther’s maids heard what had happened and how Mordecai was at the gate in sackcloth and ashes. They tell Esther, and she has a dialogue with Mordecai through a middle man. Mordecai warns her that in spite of the law that no one could enter the king’s presence without being summoned, she must go in unto the king. She must be discerning, wise, and prudent, but she must take action—and soon. This is very risky because it could mean her death and the loss of all of her people.
“Think not with thyself,” he says in verse 13, “that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.” You too, he says, will be destroyed by this decree. The king does not know of Esther’s race or religion. This is going to be quite a surprise to him.
I love Mordecai’s faith. He is not unaware of God’s power. He recognizes that God does have a plan for His people and that deliverance would be assured. He adds (verse 14), “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Think about it: Mordecai knew that if the Jews were destroyed, there would be no promised Messiah. He knew that God would deliver His people, but he did not know how. He simply relied upon the promises of God. This is true faith. True faith accepts God’s promise as a fact even though it looks impossible. So Mordecai reminded Esther of her larger mission. She is now more than a queen; she is the intercessor. God placed her in the kingdom as queen just for this crisis hour. And the message comes clear down through the millennia to us. God’s remnant people are the connection point between the world and the omnipotent God in heaven. As the world becomes chaotic, people will become more concerned about their souls and will listen in astonishment as the message is given. It will be God’s remnant people that will point them to Christ and the full light of present truth that will save their souls. You have a work to do then. Learn the message. Study your Bible and Spirit of Prophecy books. Then share what you know with others. If you hold your peace, God will use others, but you will be lost. If you don’t act in the time of crisis, God will deliver, but you will miss out.
“What is our individual responsibility in this matter? When God moves forward in His work, it divides men into two classes, those who follow in the way He leads, and those who turn aside. Are not the words of Mordecai to Esther applicable to each of us today: ‘For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance rise to the Jews (the work) from another place, but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom (the work) for such a time as this?’” That is from Loma Linda Messages, page 38.
Also, I want you to notice that it was Mordecai that instructed Esther to go to Ahasuerus to plead for her life and the life of her people. Likewise, Jesus instructs His people go to the Father in heaven in His name, seek forgiveness and justice, and plead for our lives and for the deliverance of the remnant, just like Esther was to do with Ahasuerus.
Esther’s confidence in Mordecai and his unwavering faith in God no doubt helped her gain an inner peace about her appointed work. Similarly, God’s remnant people can have that same confidence in Christ who gives them His faith and inner peace that they will be accepted of God and delivered.
Esther felt the need of support. “Go,” she said in verse 16, “gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
Whenever there is a spiritual crisis, God’s people must pray and seek God’s face. We must do that in our personal lives also. God’s remnant people must especially fast and pray as they see the crisis approaching.
Esther knew that the crisis demanded action. She also knew that it was risky. But she trusted her soul to the mighty God of heaven. As the crisis approaches the remnant, they too must take action to give the message and expose the efforts of Satan to destroy God’s people, just as Esther exposed the efforts of Haman to ruin God’s church.
Let me read it to you from The Great Controversy, page 606. “As the time comes for [the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked.”
They will not think of preserving their lives. Again, from The Great Controversy, pages 608 and 609: “In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives.”
Esther, the type of the remnant church, bravely determines to do her part without regard to the consequences. Her duty is clear. She must make her move.
Next month, we will see how God works for the deliverance of His people through the story of Esther. Perhaps by now, you have a clear picture of how this Bible story applies to our own future. If you choose to read ahead, think carefully about how God’s plan for the deliverance of His people is revealed in this amazing story.
Let us pray. Father in heaven, we pray that we may have the courage of Esther to face the daily crises in our lives. Also, we pray that you will prepare us for the great final crisis that is about to come upon the world. We are unprepared for it. There are many around us that do not know the truth, and they too are unprepared. Many of our fellow professed believers are unprepared for it. Perhaps even we are not yet prepared for it, either. God, help us to do something about it. Help us to learn how to be pure and holy. Give us peace about the future.
My friend, if you are afraid of the future, you may have peace. Christ will give you peace. He holds out His scepter of forgiveness to you. He holds out His scepter of love and strength for you to touch. One touch and you can have victory. When you are tempted, reach out and touch the divine scepter by faith and you will have power to resist. You can give yourself to Christ right now. You can prepare for the time ahead by living this day and every day for Jesus. He can and will give you strength to meet this crisis. You can trust in Him.
Father, we leave ourselves in your hands. We ask that you will make us like you in character and in faith. Oh, give us that faith that Esther had. May Jesus speak words of courage and faith to us, just as Mordecai did to Esther. In Jesus’ name and for His sake, amen.