Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
-- Feeding Jesus' sheep
-- Equipping His servants
-- Proclaiming His Gospel

Positioned by God


By Dennis Pollock

The Book of Esther is surely one of the most dramatic and fascinating books of the Bible. There are numerous lessons and insights we can gain from this story, but the one I want to focus upon in this brief devotional has to do with the way God positions us to fulfill His purposes for our lives. There is a powerful statement in this book which has always stood out to me. It was said by Mordecai, who told Esther during a time of extreme crisis, Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). To give some brief background information, let s look at the events which led up to this.

Esther lost her parents while still a young child, and her cousin Mordecai took pity on her and took her in and raised her. The result was that although they were cousins, their relationship became more like that of a father and daughter. Mordecai took good care of his little cousin, and Esther developed into a young woman of amazing character. She respected Mordecai as she would a father and was remarkably obedient and humble. By the providence of God, she was also an incredibly beautiful young lady, something that can be both a blessing and a curse to girls and women both then and now.

In those days the Jews were not an independent people but were under the control of the reigning empire of the land, which we know today as the Medes and Persians.” They were ruled by King Ahasuerus, who like all kings in those days, collected women the way some people collect coins. But from all his many wives and concubines” (a sort of not-quite-a-wife) he had selected one particular one, a lady named Vashti, to be his queen. In practice she was just one of many of the king s ladies, but officially Vashti was the first lady of the land.

Time for a Replacement

One night, while the king was partying with his officials and governors, he called for Vashti to make an appearance at the party. She was a stunning beauty and King Ahasuerus was eager to show her off to his guests. We are not given the reason, but this command to come to this men s party and parade before drunken men did not sit at all well with Vashti. She refused the command and went on partying with some of her lady friends at a separate location.

The king was furious, and his advisors suggested that he replace her. They recommended an empire-wide search for beautiful women, bringing the top contenders to the king s palace, where the king would sleep with one after another until he found a suitable replacement, to which he readily agreed.

As the king’s servants scoured the kingdom, it was only natural that Esther would be noticed and included among these new potential wives for the king. Although she was not from a rich family and did not wear fine clothes, her natural and stunning beauty could not be hidden. She was forcibly taken from her home with Mordecai and housed with all the other young ladies who had been collected for the king s pleasure. They would all be given beauty treatments and various preparations for a whole year, and then they would have their appointed night to go and sleep with the king. Afterwards they would be moved to another housing complex, where the king s wives and concubines stayed.

This cannot have been an easy or pleasant time for either Esther or Mordecai. In all likelihood, young Esther had expected to marry a young Jewish man, have children, and grow old together with her husband as his only wife. Instead she now faced a forced marriage to a man of another culture, and would be one of probably hundreds of his ladies, brought to him a few times a year for sex, and otherwise left to live out her life with all his other women. She had not asked for this, prayed for this, or ever thought about it, but now it had happened, and at the time, no doubt God was not saying much to her about the why of it. It was as though a hurricane had suddenly crashed into her simple life, and by the time the storm was over, she had been transplanted from the house of Mordecai, her devoted relative, into a foreigner s palace with scores of women. The only men they saw were those the king had forced to become eunuchs so they could be trusted to manage the ladies without any fear of  royal hanky-panky.

Divine Charisma

Esther had been a beauty all her life, but now she was with many other ladies who were likewise gorgeous. They were the prettiest women in the kingdom, all collected for the king s enjoyment. But there was something else about Esther that stood out besides her looks. She had an inner gift, which today we might call charisma. This young lady had been gifted by God to be incredibly attractive in her personality as well as her face and figure. People just liked her, wherever she went. The main eunuch in charge of the ladies was a man named Hegai, and the Bible says of him:

Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women (Esther 2:9).

Later the Bible says about her: And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her” (Esther 2:15). This kind of charisma, this attractiveness that Esther exuded was a gift that can never be taught. There are no four principles to charisma, or eight steps to favor, at least not the extreme grace that seemed to rest on this young Jewish woman. It was a gift given her by her Creator from her birth, and Esther had it in spades. Many women who are extremely beautiful know that they are beautiful and become proud. But somehow Esther was not only beautiful, not only extremely personable, she was humble as well. The Scriptures tell us that she continued to be obedient to her cousin/father Mordecai even after becoming queen of the greatest empire on earth.

And queen was exactly what she did become. When her night to sleep with the king came, he was as smitten with her as everybody else. There was no point in looking further. He had found his replacement for the former queen Vashti. In some ways the hurricane of God s providence was still blowing, and it had blown her into a place of phenomenal prestige and influence in the enormous empire of the Medes and Persians, which controlled 120 provinces throughout the Middle East.

The Crisis

We don t know exactly how long it was, but the impression I get is that it wasn t more than a few years before a terrible crisis developed. The king s right-hand man, a vain, wicked individual named Haman, conceived a plot to annihilate the entire Jewish race. It actually had to do with Esther s cousin Mordecai. Haman had reached about as high a position as it was possible to reach under King Ahasuerus, and the king had ordered that all his subjects must bow before Haman whenever he passed.

Mordecai was the one person who refused to do this. A combination of respect for God, and contempt for the proud Haman, would not allow him to give even the slightest hint of a bow whenever he saw the arrogant ruler. Haman was soon aware of Mordecai s resistance, but rather than attempting to do away with Mordecai alone, he schemed to kill all the Jews through all the provinces and put an end to this race he considered stubborn and insubordinate. Haman convinced the king to give permission for him to organize a day of slaughter where the king’s soldiers, and any citizens who wanted to join in would be encouraged to kill the Jews and plunder all their possessions. A date was set for the month of Adar, and Haman gleefully looked forward to the day when not only Mordecai, but all his race, would be permanently removed from the face of the earth.

Now we get to that declaration by Mordecai which is so powerful. Mordecai learned of this evil plot even before Esther and sent her a message telling her that she must go see the king and persuade him to spare the Jews. Esther was a little nervous about this, as it was strictly against protocol to go to the king unless requested. In fact the punishment for this transgression was death. Additionally, the king had not called for her in the last month, and Esther wondered if she had lost favor with him. Perhaps he was preparing to replace her with a new queen. She sent to Mordecai, informing him of these things and suggesting this could mean death for her. At this point Mordecai replied with his famous declaration: If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Who Knows?

Esther does indeed go to the king, is received warmly, and persuades him to issue a contrary decree, allowing the Jews to defend themselves, and ensuring their survival. But Mordecai s statement echoes across all the centuries even to this day: Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” And clearly the answer was that she had indeed been placed in her queenly position for exactly that time. She became God s chosen means to save the entire Jewish people.

God is the great positioner of His people. Most of our own stories are not nearly so dramatic as Esther s but the principle never changes. Whenever God desires to use us, He must position us in the ideal place where we may be the most useful. For some it may mean a different job, for some a different state. He positions us by leading us to just the right husband or wife, just the right church, giving us the precise skills or knowledge we will need to fulfill His perfect plan for us.

Abide in Christ – Positioned by Christ

If you are walking with God through Jesus Christ, and are living an obedient life of faith, you are being positioned by God for maximum fruitfulness. Where you end up, who you marry, what career you pursue, even your natural inclinations and interests are given to you by your faithful Creator to use you for His glory and the good of people. You are being positioned! Though you may not be conscious of it, though it may seem that your life is a huge mess, and you may even feel, as Esther no doubt felt, that you are in the midst of a hurricane and being blown about randomly by the winds of circumstances, you will finally settle down into the precise place God has ordained for you, and you will be prepared to exercise the ministry He has planned for you.

We do not know much about Esther s younger years, nor are we told what happened to her after all of this. How old did she live to be? What work did she do in her later years? Did she outlive her husband, the king, and if so, for how many years? We do not know; we are not told. The Holy Spirit focuses on this one short window of time in her life, because this was her moment. She had been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this.” And all over the world people know of the Jewish lady who saved the Jews from annihilation. When it came time for her to play her role in the history of the Jews, she stepped up and fulfilled it admirably.

In Jesus Christ, we too have a role to play. Our Lord has told us that if we abide in Him, and He in us, we will bear much fruit. And as we abide in Jesus we will be positioned by God in the perfect place and circumstances, so that we may bear fruit, not a little fruit, not some fruit, but the much fruit” Jesus promised every one of His people who abide in Him.



For a full listing of all articles, written and audio, go to our Audio Devos Page.



        For inspirational devos, bios of Christian leaders, free downloads, and the latest SOGM news:
Sign up to receive E-newsletter

Your donations are needed and greatly appreciated!



Just for you!

Missions Outreach

A major part of Spirit of Grace Ministries is our ministry in the great continent of Africa. There is a tremendous harvest going on in the world these days, and we are privileged to be a part of it. Above is a brief music video featuring video clips and pics from our recent mission in Nigeria in Oct/Nov, 2019.

Audio Devo: "Why is there suffering?"

People have debated this question for millennia. And we cannot speak concerning specific individual questions of suffering, but the Bible clearly speaks as to why suffering has always been a part of the human experience.