Previously we introduced the book of Esther as a stage upon which the actors appear “for such a time as this.” Though God is not mentioned He directs the scenes behind the scene. Historically the events recorded for us took place from 483 to 473 B.C. between the first return of the Jews to their homeland after their captivity in Babylon, and the second return some time later.
Let’s begin by looking at the characters and especially observe how they lived out their ‘such a time’ just as we are doing presently. King Ahasuerus ruler of Persia and Media steps forward first. In the third year of his reign he gathered all his officials and servants. To these princes and nobles “he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.” (1:3, 4)
Man, that’s a lot of stuff! A hundred and eighty days it took to show all his stuff. Lots of stuff! It reminds me of a few years ago when my wife and I visited some folks in their new house. It was big and beautiful. When our gracious hostess led us on a tour, she said, “We’ll start in the east wing.” Being the unsophisticated and goofy people we are, the wife and I got a memorable kick out of that. When we have company we tell them that story about the “wings” of the house and then lead them to our hallway. From there you can see all four rooms of our house. “There’s the east, west, north, and of course, the south wing over yonder.” we giggle. Our stuff takes about a hundred and eighty seconds to thoroughly peruse.
Of course stuff in and of itself is benign. It’s not how much stuff we have, but how we view our stuff and use our stuff that matters. Jesus tells us not to store our stuff for use on earth, but invest our stuff in the things of God which last forever. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) King Ahasuerus’ heart treasured earthly things. What do we really treasure?
We are here on this earth, this stage, right here, right now for such a time as this – are we building bigger barns to lay up stuff for ourselves or bigger hearts that are rich toward God? (See Luke 12:16-21)