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You Really Were Born for This

Jade Baldwin

Jul 15, 2024

"Esther’s journey from obscurity to influence exemplifies the profound truth that individuals are often placed in specific circumstances to fulfill significant purposes, even amid uncertainty and peril."

Toward the end of the Old Testament is a book that is dissimilar from the others, but a dissimilarity that feels so purposeful it’s hard to overlook its reason for placement at that time in Jewish history and also its continued relevance in the lives of believers today. The Book of Esther introduces us to a female heroin whose story is vibrant with themes like destiny, identity, and divine providence. At its heart lies the compelling tale of a Jewish orphan who unexpectedly rises to become queen of Persia during a critical juncture in Jewish history. Her ascension, seemingly coincidental yet laden with purpose, embodies one of the most spoken verses of scripture: “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) In reading Esther, one cannot help but wonder about their own identity, destiny, and God’s providence in their life.

Esther's journey begins with her humble upbringing under the care of her cousin Mordecai in Susa, the capital of the Persian Empire. Following Queen Vashti's dismissal for disobedience, Esther enters a royal beauty contest and wins the favor of King Xerxes, ultimately becoming his queen (Esther 2:17). This seemingly fortuitous turn of events, however, is soon revealed to be a strategic placement orchestrated by a higher hand. As Mordecai warns Esther of the imminent threat to the Jewish people posed by the vengeful vizier, Haman, he implores her to intercede on behalf of her people before the king. Mordecai's pivotal words, mentioned above (Esther 4:14) resonate with the conviction that has been building in Esther, that her elevation to queenhood was not mere chance at all, but rather a providential positioning for a crucial task.

This theme of identity plays a critical role in Esther’s story, particularly the discernment of when to hide one’s true identity and when to reveal it. Initially, Mordecai advises Esther to conceal her Jewish heritage (Esther 2:10), a precautionary measure that protects her in the Persian court. This act of concealment allows Esther to navigate the royal environment without prejudice, highlighting the complex decisions individuals must make regarding their identity in potentially hostile settings. It garners her trust among those who don’t understand her people.

However, the necessity of revealing her identity arises as Haman's genocidal decree against the Jews looms large. Recognizing the gravity of the situation and emboldened by Mordecai's admonition that her silence could lead to her people's demise, Esther risks her life by disclosing her Jewish identity to King Xerxes (Esther 7:3-4). Her courageous revelation not only unveils the truth but also precipitates Haman's downfall. This moment underscores the delicate balance between prudence and necessary revelation, teaching that the timing and context of disclosing one's purposeful identity can be as significant as the revelation itself.

A unique aspect of the Book of Esther is the absence of explicit mentions of God, which contrasts with other biblical texts. This absence, however, serves as a subtle marker of God’s authority and plans at work. While God's name is not directly invoked, His presence is palpably felt through the series of events that favor Esther and her people. This narrative choice emphasizes faith in the unseen, where divine intervention subtly shapes human affairs without overt proclamation. We have all been through periods where God feels completely absent; stories like Esther’s remind us that God is ever present even in the quiet. (Psalm 46:1)

For instance, one pivotal example of implied divine intervention is the sleepless night of King Xerxes, leading to the discovery of Mordecai's unrewarded act of loyalty (Esther 6:1-3). This seemingly trivial incident triggers a cascade of events culminating in Haman’s downfall and the salvation of the Jews. The narrative's subtlety in presenting these occurrences invites readers to perceive the invisible hand of God at work, orchestrating events for the greater good. Esther's story thus becomes a powerful testament to the belief that God, though unseen, is always at work and actively involved in our lives.

The narrative of Esther also highlights the importance of courage and faith in the face of adversity. Esther's willingness to risk her life for the sake of her people exemplifies the ethical imperative of using one's position and influence for justice and righteousness. Her actions reflect a profound understanding of her role and responsibility, illustrating the belief that individuals are often placed in specific circumstances to fulfill significant purposes. This ties back again to the banner of being born at a specific place in history for a specific purpose.

Esther’s story offers timeless lessons on courage, faith, and the discernment of God-given purpose. Esther's journey from obscurity to influence exemplifies the profound truth that individuals are often placed in circumstances to fulfill significant roles, even amid uncertainty and peril. Her willingness to risk her life for the sake of her people highlights the ethical imperative of using one's position and influence for justice and righteousness. Moreover, the narrative's portrayal of God’s providence, though veiled, underscores the belief that God works mysteriously yet decisively for his creation.

Reflecting on Esther's narrative, we are reminded of the enduring relevance of her story in contemporary contexts. It challenges us to discern our own moments of destiny and to act with courage and conviction when called upon to make a difference. Just as Esther stood at the crossroads of history, so are we called to embrace our roles in shaping a world where justice, compassion, and the creator’s great plan converge.


Jade lives and writes in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where she is dedicated to sharing the wisdom of scripture as it applies to the present. She leads engaging Bible discussion groups for the elderly, fostering a deeper understanding and connection to faith. Her work aims to inspire and uplift readers, encouraging a life of purpose and devotion.


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