Esther 4:14 (NIV)
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Imagine this: one day you are just a regular school student going through your classes and daily activities, but the next day, you obtain unexpected power and leadership. Your family and friends are being threatened with death because of their values and beliefs; your whole world has been turned upside down. This was the reality of Queen Esther, a Jew in the Kingdom of Persia.
Esther was a young Jew at the time of King Xerxes’ reign. He wanted to replace his current queen with a beautiful, yet obedient queen. Esther was chosen and was soon made Queen of Persia. However, Haman, the king’s advisor, now Prime Minister of Persia, believed that everyone should bow to him. Esther’s uncle, Mordechai, who was a leader of the Jews, promptly refused. In his anger, Haman convinced the king to authorize a decree to kill all the Jews. Mordechai found out and told Esther, hoping she would be able to talk to the king and change his mind. Mordechai also uncovered a plot to kill the king. While afraid of putting herself in a dangerous situation, Esther went to the king and invited him and Haman to dinner that night, and the next night. Meanwhile, Mordechai still refused to bow to Haman, who in turn, built gallows to hang Mordechai with that night. When he went to ask for the king’s permission, the king instead asked what to do for someone who had honored the king. Thinking was he; Haman suggested a parade with a royal robe and royal crest. Xerxes agreed and sent Haman to honor Mordechai, his enemy. Now, the king and Haman went to Esther’s second prepared banquet, where she proclaimed that she herself was a Jew and begged for her people to be spared. Xerxes did agree, Haman’s plot in the in gallows was exposed and served as the death place for Haman, and Esther’s bravery saved all the Jews!
In this story, Esther was incredibly brave. In this time period, women were summoned when wanted and normally not believed or taken seriously. Esther grew up in this lifestyle, and she knew what dangers she was risking. Even in this hard time in her life, Esther still had faith in God; that He would not leave her. She took even more risks being a woman and daring to expose the king’s advisor for who he truly was. Women were for display, not a major piece in society making a difference. She took the chance to be ridiculed because she knew that God would not forsake her.
People may say some situations are coincidence, but God has a plan. He puts us where we need to be; where we are a crucial part of what is destined to happen. It may be hard, and our lives will change due to what challenges are set upon us, but God will always be by our side, through the thick and thin. He knows what he is doing; He made you specifically for his plan that he has assembled with you in mind. He will be there for you. God will be inseparable at your side.
Questions for Discussion
- What are some situations where you feel that your challenge is impossible and that you may not succeed in overcoming it?
- How do you feel when it seems the odds are against you?
- When you feel this way, what can you do to remind yourself that God is with you?
- Who are some other people that you have heard about or know that have trusted God to lead the way no matter what?
- When God places you where he needs you to be in His plan, where do you feel he is leading you?
- Take some prayer requests and close in prayer, encouraging the youth to pray….