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 NKJV “the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.”
Notice the phrase, “and all who would join 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 NKJV “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom 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.