FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews in Sushan and fast for me… and if I perish, I perish.”(Esther 4:14-16)
It is no longer a secret. Islamic State (IS) militants are targeting our nation among others in the region. Security has been beefed up at KL-Sentral and KLIA. The media has alerted the public to be watchful. A government minister has urged Muslims in our nation to watch out that their loved ones do not become radicalized. In the past few days, explosions have rocked cities in Saudi Arabia including the security office of a mosque in Medina. A bomb went off in Thailand and a suicide bomber injured a police officer in Indonesia. Meanwhile police now believe a recent grenade attack in Puchong was perpetrated by the militant group IS.
Is it an existential threat to our nation? Yes. It could strain the already fragile fabric of our multi-religious multiracial society. Yet when a church in PJ laid on a “buka puasa” feast for Muslims during Ramadan in the spirit of “muhibbah” it was quietly told to cancel by the authorities. Mutual suspicion is at an all time high in a land we continue to tout as a model of multiracial understanding and harmony. A fragile atmosphere like this can easily be exploited by extremists.
When an unjust edict threatened God’s people in the Kingdom of Persia, Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle reminded her she could no longer afford to hide under the cover of anonymity and passivity. Action, he said, was needed for “such a time as this.” Her immediate response was spiritual… “fast for me”. Then it was practical: she would see the King despite not being summoned; a capital offence unless he showed her mercy. Her attitude: “if I perish, I perish…”. Our prayers today must carry a similar spiritual do-or-die urgency. We must step out to reclaim the initiative and not react only to crisis, both spiritually and practically. God will deliver our land. It us time for us and for the church to be strong, for such a time as this.
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
PsDr Philip Lyn