Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Feast of Purim


Today is the Feast of Purim. It is a time of commemoration and rejoicing as God delivered the Jews from the hands of their enemies. It is an amazing story of God's salvation that is relevant even to us today.

In the Book of Esther, a young Jewish girl named Hadassah (who had taken on the name of Esther) is adopted and raised by her Jewish uncle, Mordecai. When King Ahasuerus of Persia sends out for virgins from which to choose his next wife, Esther is taken to the king's palace. She is given favor by the Lord and the king chooses Esther to be his bride. Through all of this, her heritage is kept hidden.

Shortly thereafter, Haman - one of the king's advisors - begins a plot to destroy the Jews as he becomes incensed by Mordecai's refusal to reverence and bow down before him.

"And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate." Esther 5:11-13

Isn't that something? This man was attaining to untold riches, had a big family, was being promoted and advanced. But none of this meant anything because one Jew wouldn't bow down to him. That is how the devil is - and those who are filled with him. They are not happy until you bow down to them.

Using the king's authority, Haman makes a decree that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the people in all the provinces should rise up and destroy all of the Jews, taking their possessions for themselves. When Esther hears of this decree from Mordecai, he implores her to go before the King on behalf of her people.

Esther declares three days of fasting and prayer before she goes before the King with her petition. God grants her favor and the King receives her words. Once Haman's plans are revealed, he is hung on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai's death.

Yet, here is the clincher. The King does not turn back Haman's decree. He cannot because it was made under his authority as signified by his seal and his word could not be undone. Yet, the Jews are equipped to fight. They are commanded to defend themselves and their possessions. On the day that had been set for their destruction, they are to avenge themselves on their enemies. What had been purposed to be their demise, would instead be the demise of those who sought their harm.

So was the Feast of Purim declared. The word "purim" means "lots" and refers to the lots Haman used to determine what day the Jews would be exterminated. On this feast day, there is great celebration and joy as God is remembered as Jehovah Sabaoth - our Lord Almighty! He is our Deliverer!

Like Esther, we Gentiles too have been adopted or engrafted in God's family:

"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 11:-25

Satan has set forth a decree that the people of God should be destroyed and exterminated. Yet, God has a plan. He has a Bride who has been adopted into the house of the Jews and who has the favor of the King. It is now your turn, as a Bride to King Jesus, to declare prayer and fasting and seek the Lord for deliverance.

What happens to Israel in the natural is a reflection of what is happening to the church in the spiritual. You can bet that as you see Israel camped around by enemies laying in wait to destroy her, the devil certainly has his principalities closing in around the church. Yet, as Satan did then, he does now. Satan underestimates the love that the King has for His Bride. He forgets that the Bride is willing to lay down her life for God's people. If I perish...I perish.

Forget what Satan has decreed. Don't focus on the destruction the devil has sent into your life. Turn your face to the King and cry out like never before for salvation...and not just your salvation, but for that of all God's people. You have been provided with spiritual armor to fight. Rise up with a shout and engage in the spiritual battle that is as intense now as it has ever been. Fast, pray, and make your petitions before the Lord; prepare to be victorious in Jesus Christ as God comes forth in judgment as a swift witness against those who have deceived and oppressed His people.

"...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14b

1 comment:

  1. If possible, could you explaian this to me? I don't quite understand what was meant by the acceptance of the jews meaning life from the dead.

    Romans 11:15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?


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