Purim: Courage, Faith, Petitions

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Purim (Book of Esther)

Courage, Faith, Petitions

Every Purim in late winter, early spring, the Jewish people remember the story of Esther – this year Purim is celebrated beginning the evening of February 28, and ending the evening of March 1.

Esther was the Jewish Queen in ancient Persia (Iran) whose courage, faith and petitions delivered the Jews from certain destruction.

The King

Esther, young and beautiful, was chosen to be the bride of the powerful King Ahasuerus of Persia – also, known as Xerxes.

Army & Navy – the Defeat

The king spent three years raising a massive army and navy numbering 360,000 troops and supported by more than 700 ships.  Xerxes launched a military campaign against Greece, and lost his navy, and then left his army behind after its defeat in 479 BC.   This is the historical context behind the Book of Esther

Kill the Jews

During Esther’s time as queen, Haman, the king's chief counselor, began to scheme how to annihilate all the Jews in the Empire. Esther’s Jewish identity was yet unknown.  Her uncle Mordecai pleaded with her to do something and speak to the king in order to possibly save her people. This is what he said:

"Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. 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?” (Esther 4:13-14)

The Queen’s Move

Esther took heed to her uncle’s warning and communicated in a skillful way before the king.  Subsequently the Jews were empowered and permitted to defend themselves, and Haman, the wound-be annihilator of the Jews, was hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

Pur

During Purim, (the Hebrew word "pur" means lot, luck or fate. "Purim" is the plural. Haman had "cast lots" to determine a day to exterminate the Jews throughout the Persian Empire), the Book of Esther is read within synagogues.  The children and adults dress up in costumes to portray the characters of the biblical story. 

When the name Mordecai, or Esther is read the people raise their voices and cheer.  However, when the name Haman is read they boo and hiss. 

It is a very festive time.  However, it is also a reminder of the world’s hatred for the Jew.  And, it is a blessed reminder of God’s redemption and deliverance.

Evil

Today, we have a new Haman – those leaders and groups who would kill the Jews.  Ironically, one of the most ominous threats today comes from Persia (Iran) like in the days of old, along with Hezbollah (Lebanon), Hamas (Gaza), and Syria.

One-by-One

Believers today need to heed uncle Mordecai’s appeal.  We must remember that God chose Israel and through the prophets declared that Israel would be restored just before the Second Advent of Messiah Jesus.

The Scripture also states that Israel will grow, and progressively, one-by-one, group-by-group, come to know personally their Messiah. 

Israel Today Ministries is communicating the gospel to the nation of Israel in an effectively profound way.  Together, with your partnership, we bless Israel by feeding the hungry children and Holocaust survivors – this venue opens the door to share the gospel.

When Frightened

As new threats arise on the horizon, let us stand with God’s ancient people, speak out, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Like Esther, may we become bold, even when frightened, and have courage, and faith that God will open the palace door, and move upon the King’s heart.

Shalom,

Until He comes, we are
Together Under His Wings,

Dr. Jeff