Devotional Week 37 Friday
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him, who worship Him with awe, who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. Our inner selves wait earnestly for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield. For in Him does our heart rejoice,because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy and loving–kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for you.”
Psalm 33: 18-22
“Oft there comes a gentle whisper o’er me stealing,
When my trials and my burdens seem too great;
Like the sweet-voiced bells of evening softly pealing,
It is saying to my spirit – only wait.
When I cannot understand my Father’s leading,
And it seems to be but hard and cruel fate,
Still I hear the gentle whisper ever pleading,
God is working, God is faithful – only wait.
When the promise seems to linger, long delaying,
And I tremble, lest, perhaps, it comes too late,
Still I hear that soft-voiced angel ever saying,
Tho’ it tarry, it is coming, only wait.
When I see the wicked prosper in their sinning,
And the righteous pressed by many a cruel strait,
I remember this is only the beginning,
And I whisper to my spirit – only wait.”
A. B. Simpson
“We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and He will come. He never comes to those who do not wait.”
Frederick William Faber
(This is by far my very favorite Christian quotation on waiting. Many a time when the thunder begins to reverberate in our rocky valley, my thoughts turn to the words of Frederick Faber: “in the thunder and lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and He will come.” Praise His name for His promises are true). Dorothy Valcárcel
Today’s Study Text:
“And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 4: 14
“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”
“Such A Time” Part 28
“To sensible men (and women), every day is a day of reckoning.”
John William Gardner
What do I believe the words “for such a time as this” mean in my own life?
How does God’s timing of events in my life connect with His purpose for my life?
“Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time that you would be to escape thieves and robbers.”
“Years…should be nothing to you. Who asked you to count them or to consider them? In the world of wild nature, time is measured by seasons only – the bird does not know how old it is – the rose tree does not count its birthdays.”
The Life Everlasting
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1
As we study the Scriptures, there are certain passages in the Bible that are so frequently quoted we know them for memory. John 3: 16 is a passage that many of us learned as children. Then there is the Shepherd’s Psalm 23, which my grandmother taught me when I could barely read. All of us have favorite texts that hold a special place in our hearts. For example, my dad whose parents died before he was only two years old, was left with some neighbors to be cared for in a home where love for this orphan boy was in very short supply. Feeling unwanted and unloved left my dad with a huge sense of abandonment. But when he was about seven years old, he was hospitalized repeatedly with pneumonia because he was forced to sleep on an outdoor porch even in the cold winter months. God, in His perfect timing, had a motherly Christian woman, the local doctor’s wife, see my dad running around in the hospital hallways rather than staying in bed like the doctor ordered. She took this orphan boy into her heart and taught him a text that was precious to my father for the rest of his life: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3: 1, K.J.V.). This passage proved to be a new thought to my dad. He actually had a real Father – one that loved him. And that one text truly changed the heart of that lonely boy. What’s more, the dear lady who taught my “daddy-boy” that favorite text ended up being my grandma who taught me Psalm 23. You see, God’s purpose for my dad’s life was laid out in our heavenly Father’s timely plan.
And it is heaven’s timetable that calls up to open God’s Word to Esther 4: 14 which is also one of the texts in Scripture that is repeated with great frequency and what’s more, it is often used in a way that is inappropriate. Even this past week, I heard someone misquoting Esther 4: 14 as they attempted to put a political spin on a text of Scripture which can have such an important meaning to the lives of God’s devoted and committed children.
As I was studying our text for today, I took extra time uncovering the Hebrew word used for the word “time” in Esther 4: 14. In this passage, ‘êth is the Hebrew word in the text for “time”; and it means in “due season.” I have found that just as the book of “Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher” refers to timing as “seasons,” so do writers who recognize that God’s timetable for His purpose in your life and mine has seasons. Those time periods where God is working, often behind the scenes, to accomplish something so great we cannot even imagine or conceive what He is working on. Just like in my dad’s life where a forgotten young child, amazingly, had a part in the life of Transformation Garden, nearly 30 years after he suddenly dropped dead, because before my dad died, he had used his short time, in years on earth, to inspire his daughter with a love for reading the Bible.
When Mordecai took young Esther, another orphaned child into his heart and home, I doubt he could have ever dreamed that she would end up being the queen of Medo-Persia. It’s just too crazy to even think about. But then what was even more shocking was the fact that an evil man named Haman because so powerful that he was able to convince a spineless King Ahasuerus, that all the Jews in Medo-Persia should be annihilated.
I have to believe that Mordecai began to recognize that only a miracle could break the tyrannical grab for power from the godless Haman. As he pondered the rise of Esther as queen of Medo-Persia, he was overwhelmed with the sense of God’s ability to have His timetable coincide with the events in Medo-Persia.
However, there’s even more for you and me to learn from today’s study text. The words in “due season” are not the only meaning of the Hebrew word ‘êth. It also means “what time.”
As I read those two words, another one of my favorite passages from the book of Psalms flooded my mind. The words are found in Psalm 56: 3 – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
Now I’d like to share with you the earthly events which inspired the Psalmist David to write these words. If we remember a giant named Goliath, we find he came from a city called Gath – a royal Philistine city. The Philistines took David as their hostage in Gath. At that point in time, these are the words of David found in Psalm 56:
“Be merciful unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O Thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
Psalm 56: 1-4
If you want to read the entire chapter – Psalm 56 – you will find that you could take this Psalm and place it after Esther 4 and you would think the words were meant to describe the situation the Jews faced in Medo-Persia. In fact, the phrase “what time” which in the Hebrew means “when it is high noon and the day is at its hottest” I will trust in you. But this also corresponds to our recent study about “Three Hebrew Men” who were surrounded by the heat from the fires of affliction and yet, the fire did not burn them at all.
The reason I want to share these connections with you is that our God has a message that runs throughall time here on earth. His timing is run according to His purpose and plan for the lives of all His children. We may wonder at the timetable but as we stand back and look at God’s work down through history, we should be encouraged in ways inexpressible, for God’s work whether we understand it at “the time we are afraid,” is still a timing that was meant for a moment like this – in the heat of the day; when the enemy is at the door; when all our options have been used up; and when we have flat out run out of human “time.”
“Who knows?” as Mordecai told Esther, “You were called to be queen for just this time!” This point in history. This very day. This very second! Indeed, it’s why God put you in the very place you are in – on this day, at this moment, in His time! Never forget that God’s in charge of your timetable and mine. This is what Esther 4: 14 tells us! Praise His Name!
“Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
and the pleasant land.
So the little minutes,
humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Julia A. Fletcher
“’My time,’ we say.
It’s not ours:
we didn’t make it,
we can’t stop it;
no one can preserve it.
We can’t hold the present moment,
it slips through our fingers,
We can’t freeze it,
or bottle it,
to await our pleasure.
We can’t even define it:
‘animal, vegetable or mineral’!
Does it exist?
If it does,
whose is it?
God, teach us to value it,
to love it,
to relax in its embrace,
and always to remember
that it’s not ours.
“God of all time,
God beyond and behind time,
may we know what is too late
and what is too soon.
May we always recognize
the right time
in the light of
Your timeless love.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus