‘For such a time as this’
Given recent events in the Middle East, our leaders would benefit from the wisdom shared in the book of Esther. Despite the name of God never appearing in the book, Esther’s story shows us that He will always preserve the nation of Israel, no matter how grave the danger. And vitally, it also reminds us that God calls ordinary people to help in this righteous calling.
In fact, the word of God is replete with examples of common and flawed individuals who are now immortalized as heroes of faith—all because of their willingness to be used by God for the benefit of His people. Abraham was disobedient, Moses was a murderer who stuttered, David was the youngest and the runt of the family, Esther was an orphan. All of these people changed the trajectory of the world not because they were perfect, but because they were brave and willing to go forward.
Unfortunately, the enemies of Israel did not disappear with Haman and his sons, or the Nazi cowards of World War II. The modern enemies of Israel take on more insidious forms than their predecessors, and some of them were recently granted visas to the United States in order to attend the U.N. General Assembly this week.
While the book of Esther is found in ancient history, its principles remain true today. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are our modern-day Hamans. Like Haman the Agagite, they have not been discreet about their plans for Israel and the Jewish people. In fact, Iran’s weapons are emblazoned with the words “death to Israel.” So, what are we willing to do about it?
The book of Esther provides guidance. Consider the words of Mordechai to his cousin Esther (4:13-14), He tells her that should she fail to take a stand for the Jewish people, help would come, though she would not be held blameless: “For 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?”
To the believer, this is not merely allegorical. History has shown time and again that God keeps the promise of Genesis 12 to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who do not.
As Christians, we often focus on the blessing, but God did not incidentally include mention of the curse. The enemies of Israel seal their own fate when they plan to harm the Jewish people. Pharaoh and his men drowned in the Red Sea, just as the Egyptians had drowned the male Jewish newborns. Goliath was conquered by David. And Esther’s enemy, Haman, hung from the very gallows he built for Mordechai.
The dictatorship of Tehran seeks Israel’s demise. Rather than investing in building their society, they invest in destroying the societies of others, specifically Israel. And that will be the Mullah’s end because I believe that one day the people of Iran will rise up and take their country back.
I have faith this will happen because history has long since proven that such is the arc of tyranny. But will we as Americans act at this pivotal moment in history, as former President Barack Obama failed to do during the 2009 Iranian protests? And until that day comes, will we lend our nation’s support to those inside Iran who seek a new way forward, or will we lend our nation’s stature to the people’s tormentors?
I am a man of faith, and as such, I take to heart the words Mordechai spoke to his niece. As the world’s leaders gather this week at the United Nations, I pray that America’s leaders exercise their power with the prudence of Esther. Yes, she invited Haman to dinner, but it was not without first planning for his defeat.
Pastor John Hagee is the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel.
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