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Saturday, June 07, 2014

You Are Not Too Young

Haman Begging the Mercy of Esther, by Rembrandt
Haman Begging the Mercy of Esther, by Rembrandt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently, I heard the disturbing news that more and more young people are turning away from the church and from Biblical principles and are adopting worldly teachings. Citing a lot of reasons from hypocrisy in the church to lack of openness, those young people think they will be better off not being affiliated with church. Some of them claim to have abandoned their faith altogether.

At a time when the world needs Jesus more than ever, now is not the time for anyone, young or old, to abandon his/her faith, or to remove himself/herself from the spiritual covering of the church. As I focus on this topic, my thoughts turn to one young woman in the Bible who, not only clung to her faith, but helped change the course of history.

Esther was a young orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai after the death of her parents. Through Mordecai's intervention, Esther married King Xerxes and became queen. But she soon faced a grave test. Mordecai informed her of a plan by one of the king's officers to wipe out all the Jews. Mordecai asked her to go before the king to plead on their behalf. Esther was afraid. For one, the king did not know she was a Jew, and she could not go into his presence until she was invited.

 When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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 royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4 : 12 - 14).

Mordecai's words spurred Esther to action. She told him to call on all the Jews in Susa to fast and she and her maids also fasted for three days.  On the third day, Esther went before the king, and her petition on behalf of the Jews was granted. Not only that, but Haman, who had plotted to have the Jews killed, was hung on the very gallows he had made to hang Mordecai, and a special feast, the feast of Purim, is held every year to commemorate that event.

The Bible does not say how old Esther was, but she was referred to as a "girl" and as a "virgin", so we can assume she was very young. John Gill's commentary in reference to the king's marriage says, "there is sought throughout his kingdom a damsel of twelve or fourteen years ..."

Are you too young? Esther is just one example of a young person used by God for His purpose. Whatever your age, God can use you, if you would let Him.
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