Esther 4: 14b And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
The 2014 Super Bowl, the United States’ National Football League championship game, featured the Denver Broncos led by 5 time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning versus the underdog Seattle Seahawks led by young quarterback Russell Wilson. Few would have ever envisioned this showdown even a few years earlier. Wilson was far from the prototypical quarterback. Standing a mere 5ft11” (1.80m) tall Wilson was dwarfed by other NFL quarterbacks (Peyton was 6’5” or 1.95m) and not surprisingly since Russel’s youth he had been told he could never succeed at this position because of his height. But there was another voice that spoke into his life, his late father Harrison. “He used to always tell me ‘Russ, why not you?’ And what that meant was believe in yourself, believe in the talent God has given you even though you are 5-foot-11, and you can go a long ways.” (New York Post Feb 2/14). And more than just making it to the big game, Wilson and his Seahawks played giant killers on the big stage, winning the game 38-7. And showing that the 2013-14 season was no fluke, Wilson again guided his Seahawks back to the Super Bowl the next year in 2015.
Wilson’s story immediately reminded me of another underdog story so much more unfathomable and incredible. Picture an orphaned Jewish girl (around 485BC) living in the Persian Empire. Through no fault of her own she already had three strikes against her. She was a Jew in a foreign land, she was female, and she was an orphan. The best she could possibly ever dream of was to one day be part of a family and perhaps even have a husband and family of her own. But this girl could have never dreamed of what God had in store for her.
You can read the full story of this girl Esther (Esther 1-10), but briefly, through an incredible unfolding of events this orphaned Jewish girl was adopted by her loving cousin Mordecai and she was ultimately chosen as the new Queen of Persia. It soon became evident why God had orchestrated this meteoric rise, as an evil man in leadership was plotting to annihilate the Jews (Esther 3:13). Esther could save the Jews by approaching the King, but doing so without invitation could result in her death. Mordecai challenged Esther with the following: 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?” (Esther 4:14). Esther chose to risk her life and ultimately the Jews were saved.
As Christians, we can fall prey to the voice of the world. Often the words we hear can actually be quite logical and not necessarily mean-spirited. When Wilson was told he was too short, relative to the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL, this was absolutely true. But what his father seemed to be telling Russ is that if God has called you to something don’t look or listen to the right or left, only look up to the Lord. What has God called you to do? Why not you?