These words from the story of Esther are very often quoted and used to give scriptural affirmation to the purposes of an individual’s life. You will all have heard it said of someone that the purpose of their life was ‘for such a time as this’! It was certainly true of the young woman who became Queen Esther. Her intervention was strategic in saving the Jewish peoples from annihilation.
Today is a special extra national holiday in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) of Queen Elizabeth the Second. There is absolutely no doubt that her presence on the throne of England has been ‘for such a time as this’. But for the abdication of her Uncle, Edward the Eighth, Elizabeth would have lived out her life as a minor royal – a niece of the King – but God had other plans for her life. When her father, King George the Sixth took the throne, in place of his older brother, the course of history was dramatically changed. A godly man became King and carried the nation through the greatest military conflict in the history of the world. And he instilled into his daughter, the new heir to the throne, the very essence of royal service so that even though he passed away in 1952 at a young age, Elizabeth was already well-schooled in the godly responsibilities of serving her peoples Sovereign..
And this she has faithfully done for sixty long, and often difficult, years – years in which, sadly, the western world has largely turned its back on their spiritual history and allowed secular humanism to be the driving force of society, instead of living in godly submission to the living God. In the midst of all this change, however, the Queen has quietly maintained her own personal faith, as was evidenced In her last Christmas message to the Commonwealth, in which she said:
"God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
I listened in stunned amazement as I realised that the Queen had just told the world that she was praying for all who were listening, that they would find room in their lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord!
At her Coronation the Queen laid down her sceptre and took off her crown before receiving communion, in recognition of the fact that even though she was now Queen of England, she was still in submission to a higher authority, the King of Kings! I don’t believe there is any doubt that, like Esther, Queen Elizabeth the Second came to royal position for such a time as this. Scripture urges us to pray for those who reign over us. I have no problem in singing the prayerful words of our national anthem in which we ask God to save the Queen, that she may reign long over us!
Prayer: I thank You, Lord, for Queen Elizabeth and pray that you will long preserve her as Queen of her peoples. I thank you for her personal faith in You and ask that You will once again raise up the British peoples to follow her example of trusting in the “Holy Child of Bethlehem”, the risen Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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