And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14b (ESV)
I was standing in line to vote when the man next to me asked, “Where is Willie Nelson on this ballot?” which of course provoked a conversation about the candidates and the issues that concerned us. (I had to agree that Willie would be a good write-in.) As our discussion continued, I mentioned a blog Max Lucado had just published with his predictions for November 9. Lucado confidently stated that God will still be in control no matter who is elected (https://maxlucado.com/prediction-november-9/).
That brought to mind the various people God has used in the Bible and in history to impact the culture. I thought of Joseph whose gifts and wisdom brought about the saving of his family and adopted country; of how improbable Esther and her story illustrated God’s providence; of Daniel whose impeccable integrity and courage demonstrated godly commitment in a pagan environment; and of Nehemiah whose love for his homeland initiated the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
And then there’s the account of a retiring monk, Telemachus, who felt called to go to Rome without any clear indication of what he would do once he arrived. Upon hearing the roar of the crowds when he neared the Coliseum, he ventured closer to learn that people were being sacrificed for entertainment. It is said that the godly monk pushed his way through the barriers until he stood in the middle of the arena. “Desist, desist,” he shouted. This unexpected happening stunned the crowd to silence, and then they began to call for his blood even as he continued to shout for an end to the violence. As he died, he did not know that his death would bring about the end of the gladiatorial games.
We’ve had visionaries on our own soil who pledged their lives and resources for the ideal of religious freedom. In other places, Wilberforce dedicated his life and energies to abolishing slavery in Britain, while Bonhoeffer’s passion for living out the Gospel led him to perish attempting to destroy the evil that corrupted his beloved German homeland. The list goes on and on…
History reminds us that God’s people always have a responsibility to understand the times and to respond in obedience to his providence. To what has God called you for such a time as this?
Father, each of us has a role in your providential plan. Open our eyes to see how we may faithfully serve you and the community in which you have placed us. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.