Asma - Such a Time As This

Yesterday afternoon, I had an overwhelming feeling. These thoughts weighed on me, “What if God is raising up a woman to save His people?”  I couldn’t quite make sense of it all.
 
I mean, God has done it before. He has put many women in positions to save His people (Deborah, Esther, Abigail, Mary, the woman at the well, Rahab). I was tired though last night and went to bed without much more thought to it.
 
But then this morning I noticed that a couple of my friends sent me the same email by Jim Denison entitled, “What the press isn't telling you about Syria” because they thought it would interest me. (You can view it here http://www.denisonforum.org).  The article asked Christians to “pray for Ali Khamenei to meet Jesus in a vision or dream, the kind of miracle now happening across the Muslim world.  And we are called to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6) today. Khamenei is regarded as the one who will “set the stage for the Mahdi’s re-emergence.” This re-emergence, they claim, can be accomplished by Muslims attacking Israel. If Syria can get the US to attack it, they can defend themselves and call out the Muslims to attack not only the US, but Israel as well. That’s a lot of information with many moving parts.
 
As I was praying this prayer above, I began to desire to learn more so I started digging in.
 
And then I came across a few articles about the Syrian First Lady, Asma Al-Assad. There was something about her that struck a chord with me. You know that gnawing feeling where you feel as though bits and pieces are starting to make sense.
photo from www.telegraph.co.uk
What if, just what if, Asma Al-Assad was placed in her position for “such a time as this?”
 
The similarities this woman possesses with Queen Esther are remarkable.
 
Like Esther, Asma is beautiful. Like Esther, Asma is not from the place she is currently living (while her parents are Syrians, she was born and raised in Britain). Like Esther, she resides in the general region of Esther’s reign. Like Esther, she is married to a man that doesn’t think twice about issuing orders to wipe out masses of people. Like Esther, it appears that she has favor with her husband. 
photo from ​www.theguardian.com
And like Esther, Asma’s name has significant meaning. Esther’s name originally was Hadasseh, which means, “myrtle” in Arabic. The letters combined to make Hadac mean that the myrtle reveals to us the open pathway to enter. Esther, the name she apparently took on once she entered into the king’s palace means “star.” She was a marked, bright shining star placed in a particular place by God for God to work through to save His people. The name Asma means, “high status.” These names hold great meaning at a particular time in history.
 
While we are talking about names, let’s talk about the men for a minute. I find it interesting that both Queen Esther’s husband and First Lady Al-Assad’s husband have names that are ironical. Queen Esther’s husband, King Ahasuerus means “prince, head, chief and originated as an Israeli name.” He was the opposite of the head of Israel….he was okay with destroying Israel.
 
The Syrian President’s first name, Bashar, means, “the messenger.” His last name, however, is interesting. Reports say that President Al-Assad’s father changed their former last name, Al' Wahash, which means “beast” to Al-Assad, which means “lion” years ago.
 
President Bashar’s name, at one time, together could have meant that he was the Beast’s messenger.

For my naysayers, let us reflect on some other people in the Bible. Jezebel, for instance, was wicked and her name means, "not exalted." Rahab, the prostitute who helped the spies, who later became the great-great grandmother of David, means, "trustworthy woman." And I could go on.
 
Some may see this as a Muslim issue and that we shouldn’t care what happens one way or the other. However, just like with King Ahasuerus, and more specifically Haman, the most powerful official in the empire, the Syrians are against the Israelites. And they are trying to cause noise and tumult against Israel just like Haman did (which, by the way, means “noise and tumult”).
 
Unlike Allah, God does not ask us to pursue our enemies. Our God fights for us and goes before us. Our God fought for the Israelites when the men went out to destroy them after Esther went to the king. Our God fought for Gideon and his men as they showed up to battle with a ridiculous amount of warriors and only clay pots, candles and horns. Our God fights for us (Deut. 3:22).
 
How do we engage our God? We cry out to him. We don’t fight in His name. We pray in His name.
 
Apart from God, we are all separated from Him. It doesn’t matter if we serve Allah, Buddha, no god, many gods, the god of materialism or the god of “me, myself and I.” If we are not serving the one true God with complete faith and surrender in Jesus and proclaim that Jesus came in flesh, was crucified, dead, buried, risen and is now serving on the right hand of God the Father, we are all the same. God wants His name to be declared holy and He wants His name to spread to the nations. And one day, every knee will bow at the mention of His name (Philippians 2:10).
 
Queen Esther may have been saving just the Chosen Ones because she lived during Old Testament times, but we live in New Testament times. At some point, we are all children waiting for adoption by our Father to be ushered into His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).
 
Damascus is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities. Its history is rich. And some claim that Zechariah 9-14 prophesied about the End Times starting in Damascus and that God would be in Damascus as the prophecy is unfolded and told to the world. 
photo from www.damascus.org
Is it a coincidence that Damascus sits in Syria?
 
If it is not, we should draw great courage and strength from Zechariah 9 because all of it mentions God taking care of business. He’s fighting. He’s going before us to reclaim His land.
 
Christians, our God is a God that does things that often don’t make sense, yet as we read Scripture, we can see how things worked out…sometimes hundreds or thousands of years later.
 
I am just an ordinary housewife who was overwhelmed with this feeling of “God raising up a woman” yesterday totally out of the blue and then today, as I opened an email, the answers started flowing as the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to His Word.
 
We need to pray. Yes, we need to pray that America does not go to war against Syria who then could go to war against Israel because of our actions.
 
But we also need to pray for Asma because perhaps, just perhaps, God has this woman in the middle of it all. The King didn’t know Esther was a Jew, but Mordecai reminded her in Esther 4:13, “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all the other Jews are killed.” Do we know Asma? We don’t fully, but God does and we know that He has her in this “high status.”
 
We don’t know who the modern day Haman is either, but God does. Perhaps it is Ali Khamenei trying to plot the destruction of Israel. We need to pray that the evil one is exposed at the appropriate time.
 
What we do know is this, Queen Esther responded. She fasted, prayed and engaged others to fast and pray and then risked her life to go before the King. God orchestrated a way to reveal the “hadac” (the open pathway) to have Haman exposed and ultimately, Haman was hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai and the Jews survived.
 
I believe that our God can do that same thing again today. Would you pray that with me? Let's prepare ourselves for the great shout of Victory!

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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4 Comments


Julie - September 6th, 2013 at 10:34pm

Incredible article, Erin! Thank you!

Joni Whitehead - September 7th, 2013 at 7:59am

Erin compelling blog. Love how God is using your giftings through this blog ministry. Holy Spirit has provided a fresh perspective and I am joining you in prayer!

Mia Herne - September 7th, 2013 at 6:53pm

what amazing insights ! much food for thought I need to read this again with my note book in hand Thankyou Erin !

Candace Dean - October 1st, 2015 at 1:14pm

Not just Spirit fingers but HOLY Spirit fingers ! Awesome article :)