As noted in the last post, the chapter this week is filled with stuff that fills movies we go see. In fact, in 2006, Gener8Xion Entertainment released a feature film called “One Night With the King,” which merged the biblical account with Jewish tradition and extra-biblical writings, with a little Hollywood sprinkled in. The story was of a woman named Hadassah, but you may know her better as Esther (her Babylonian name). This was no B-movie. It had a budget of $20 million. There are times when it’s a little cheap on the settings, and some of the actors are a bit much, but Esther is the crown jewel of the movie. It’s a decent movie to watch, but the story is even better.
A famous line in the bible comes when Mordecai, Esther’s “father”(actually a cousin), says to the queen, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” At this point Esther had not revealed her Jewish identity and doing so would put her at risk of death with all of the other Jews. She was seeking counsel on her next move.
Living this journey knowing that at whatever position we find ourselves, we may be in that position “for such a time as this,” gives us a great perspective. If things are going well, God may have a larger story “for such a time as this.” If things are going poorly, hang in there because God just might be doing something through you during “such a time as this.” We know the now, He knows tomorrow. None of us wants to go through dry, difficult times and all of us want the windfalls to last forever, but we just don’t know what tomorrow holds and things could change. There is great hope in that alone, but there is an even greater hope.
The hope that sustains are the promises of God. These promises set the horizon line of our hope. They give us direction. God promised to keep the Hebrews alive, and at the risk of annihilation, he writes an Upper Story, where a young Jewish girl becomes Queen of Persia, and only she can turn the events already set in motion. God had a plan for Hadassah…he has a plan for you…he has a plan for me. No matter the circumstances today, good or bad, he has a place for you in his Upper Story, if you’ll just join him.
This Sunday, we will wrap up the story of Esther and really connect it to our daily lives. It’s a great day to invite neighbors, coworkers or friends to the gathering. To hear the story is to be invited into the story.
Here is the trailer for the movie…it opens with Samuel confronting Saul for sparing the life of Agag when the Jews conquered the Amalekites…