Tonight and tomorrow are joyous days of celebration for the Jewish people. Tonight marks the beginning of Purim, the celebration of the Jewish people being delivered from the murderous plot of the wicked
Esther is a short book, and I encourage you to read it, as I will only be highlighting a few portions in this post. However, I will begin at the end to answer a question some may have at this point, why would a Christian celebrate a Jewish Holiday? The answer is found in Esther 9:27-28 LSB “the Jews established and accepted a custom for themselves and for their seed and for all those who joined themselves to them, so that celebrating these two days according to what was written down and according to their fixed time from year to year would not pass away.28 So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; thus these days of Purim were not to pass away from among the Jews, nor their memory come to an end from their seed.”
Notice the phrase, “and all those who joined themselves to them,” as a believer, I see myself as joined with the Jewish people because I have been grafted into the olive tree (Romans 11). Jesus and the apostles celebrated Purim and other biblical feasts, so why not join in on the celebration?
The foe in this story is a man named
Haman who was filled with hatred against the Jews, specifically Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, because he would not bow down to him. Because of the hatred in his heart, he set out to have all the Jews murdered. We’ve seen it with Pharoh, we saw it when Jesus was born, and throughout history, evil men, possessed by the devil trying to kill God’s chosen people.
The intriguing thing about the book of Esther is that God’s name is never mentioned, but as you read the story, you can see how God orchestrates things behind the scenes. As I read the story today, a few verses caught my attention.
Esther 4:13-14 LSB “Then Mordecai said for them to respond to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s house can escape any more than all the Jews.14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not reached royalty for such a time as this?”
Mordecai knew deliverance would come from Esther or someone else; he admonished his niece by saying if you remain silent, you will perish. Silence has consequences, but Esther did what she knew God had called her to do. As the story continues, Esther prepares two banquets for the king and the wicked man, and God turns the evil plot against the wicked.
Haman is hung on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai, along with his sons. But, the story doesn’t end there; all who plotted against the Jews were killed. The king gave Haman’s house to Esther and his position to Mordecai. There are a few reminders we gain from this story. The most important thing is that even when we don’t see God working, He is continually working to protect His people. God removed one queen and replaced her with an unknown to save His people and bring judgment on their enemies.
The entire Bible has two central themes; the preservation of God’s people and the promise of the Messiah. The Messiah comes through God’s people in the Old Testament, and The Messiah comes back and defends His people at the end of the New Testament. Purim is a reminder of God’s promises to His people; it reminds us that He will always protect His people and that they will never be forsaken.
Read and ponder the aspects of this remarkable story, celebrate God’s faithfulness, and remember, His hand may be hidden, but it’s still moving.