A painting of Esther, Ahasuerus and Haman by Rembrandt. Credit: Google Art Project/Wikipedia.

by Destiny Albritton

(JNS) — Christians love to quote the famous phrase “for such a time as this,” said by Mordechai in the book of Esther. We put it in our Instagram bios and purchase home decor with these famous words.

They give us inspiration to stand up for what is right on the platforms we’ve been given. They remind us that we are called to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) in times of darkness and evil.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, I’ve noticed some Christian leaders eager to speak the truth in love “for such a time as this” have forgotten who said these words and why they were spoken. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that a Jewish man spoke those words to a Jewish woman when their people were threatened with genocide. Some have failed to recognize that the Jewish people face the same hatred today.

When those words were spoken, the Jews of Persia were in mortal danger when a plot for their destruction was devised. Each Jewish person would be killed regardless of their age or sex. There would be pogroms throughout Persia until the Jews were eradicated from the land. The Jewish people were devastated, mourning in sackcloth and ashes.

But God had already paved the road to their deliverance through a Jewish woman who went by the Persian name Esther. She was married to the king, who could foil the evil Haman’s plan if only Esther would risk her life to make her request.

Esther’s cousin Mordechai could see providence in her position. He told her, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Mordechai’s words of encouragement gave Esther the strength to advocate for the Jewish people and combat antisemitism, the world’s oldest hatred.

To this day, Esther and Mordechai’s people are still fighting for their lives. On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists committed unfathomable atrocities against thousands of Jewish people. Hundreds of innocent Israeli women were slaughtered in their homes and raped. Elderly people were mercilessly taken hostage. Israeli soldiers were beheaded. Jewish babies and children were murdered and taken hostage.

The reports coming out of Israel reveal the nature of pure evil, yet there are Christian leaders with followings larger than the world’s entire Jewish population who have said nothing. Christian leaders who understood standing for truth “for such a time as this” in the summer months of 2020 and the spring of 2022 have strangely lost their voices when people are tortured and executed by monsters for being Jews in a Jewish state.

Do you realize that these are Queen Esther’s people? Do you realize that they still need deliverance and relief? The words “for such a time as this” were spoken to embolden a woman of God to speak out against antisemitism. The hatred of Jewish people Esther faced didn’t end when the early church leaders stopped writing books of the Bible.

The people of Israel live and, sadly, so does the hatred against them. We are seeing it in these attacks and the rhetoric that has followed on social media and in communities all over the world. Protestors have organized rallies and celebrations of these evil acts as “resistance.” Jewish people are unsure if they’re safe to attend Shabbat services or send their children to Jewish schools. Jewish students on college campuses have been targeted and harassed and are fearful to leave their dorm rooms. Even before this latest atrocity, Jewish people in the United States were already victims of over 60 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes despite making up only 2 percent of the population.

The Jewish people have a rich history and traditions that help us understand the context of Christianity. They are resilient and have survived generations of hardship, but they shouldn’t have to fight alone. Judaism is the root we were grafted onto (Romans 11:11-24), and we ought not to forget that.

Today, we have a responsibility to remember what “for such a time as this” means. Christian leaders, in these times of wars and rumors of wars, must have moral clarity and put their faith into action. If we can’t take a public stand to condemn the infanticide, kidnapping, rape and murder of Jewish people unequivocally, are we standing for truth and righteousness? If you stay silent at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place.

But who knows? Perhaps you’ve been given your platform for such a time as this.

Destiny Albritton is the national outreach director at the Israel on Campus Coalition. She oversees ICC’s efforts to broaden the base of Israel’s friends beyond the Jewish community.