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11-13 March 2017 / 14-15 Adar 5777

Posted: The Last Day of the Feast

Last Update: 22 March 2017 / 23 Adar 5777

By C. Read

Purim is the Biblical holy day that God commands His people to celebrate on 14 & 15 Adar (the twelfth month on the Hebrew calendar). This year the corresponding dates on the Gregorian calendar are 11-13 March, beginning at evening. Christians are typically unfamiliar with this season, but most have heard about the book of Esther.

I would like to share my reflections of this amazing account of how God used a brave young woman to save His people from the enemy who wanted to destroy them. Even though this took place many years ago, the spiritual implications are still very relevant today.

Esther "had neither father nor mother," according to the Scriptures, and so it would seem that she was very young when her cousin, Mordecai, took her into his home and raised her as his own.

At that time, the Jewish people were under the rule of King Ahasuerus, and his dominion was from India even unto Ethiopia, where he ruled over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces.

There are some conflicting views about Esther’s story, and I encourage you to go back and read the book of Esther, but without going into all the details as to why Queen Vashti was removed from her royal position, I am compelled to voice my disagreement with the premise that the King wanted to parade the Queen before his subjects wearing only her crown. I first heard that interpretation years ago in a sermon by Chuck Swindoll, and I am sure it has been propagated by many well-meaning preachers.

It is extremely presumptuous, and can be quite detrimental, to add to, or take away from, the Holy Scriptures. Based on what God's word says, it is my understanding that the Queen refused to go before the King, and his men, who were most likely very drunk, because she didn't want to be lusted over and humiliated by them.

Her refusal to obey the King's orders cost her the royal crown; however, it paved the way for Esther to take her place. I have heard others say that Esther was just selfish, that all she wanted was to be Queen, and she lied her way into that royal position, but that is so untrue. Esther was a very honorable, strikingly beautiful, young woman, and she was raised by an extremely faithful and devout Jewish man who loved God.

The Lord God is the one who put Esther in that position, under the direction of Mordecai, her surrogate father. And Mordecai is the one who told her not to reveal her kindred to anyone, under the direction of God.

Moreover, it was God who gave her favor in the sight of all who met her, including the King. Thus, she obtained that Royal position solely because of the providence of God, for the express purpose of saving God's people from their enemy who sought their total destruction.

When Esther heard about the decree to destroy all the Jewish people, she was initially fearful of what could happen to her if she went before the King without being called before his throne, but God gave her the courage to face the King, even under the threat of being put to death. Consider what Mordecai said to persuade Esther to overcome her fear.

Esther 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

Esther wanted to tell the King about the wicked plan of Haman, the man who hated God and His people, but God prompted her to wait until the following day. And because she was obedient to God, everything was set in motion for God’s people to have the victory over the enemy.

There is so much more to this story, but the battle was won on 13 Adar, and the following explains why Purim should be celebrated by all God's people who have been united with the God of heaven through Christ.

Esther 9:20-22 “And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,

To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,

s the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor."

Esther 9:27-28 "The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;

And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.”

The book of Esther is so meaningful to me, and it is just as what a dear pastor friend recently wrote to me when I asked him his opinion about this wonderful story. “So many things pertaining to faith, loyalty, love, obedience, integrity, courage, God's sovereignty, justice, provision, preservation, etc. that we can learn from the book of Esther, both through her life and those around her.”

Esther was in the presence of her enemy, but God was with her, and He gave her the boldness to speak the truth and expose the man who was determined to annihilate the Jewish people; and it would have included Esther had Haman known she was also Jewish. And her obedience to God and her father, Mordecai, was vital in helping to save her people.

We are still living in "such a time as this" where the Enemy of our souls seeks to destroy God’s people; and it is my earnest prayer that God will raise up some brave, obedient women like Esther, and devout, Godly men like Mordecai, to speak the truth boldly and faithfully, by His Holy Spirit.

I am certain we are living in the final days before the return of Christ, and even though I surely do not know the day nor the hour, I see that we are in the season! And just as Mordecai said to Esther, I say to all who truly love and belong to Almighty God and His dear Son:

“Who knoweth whether thou art come to the Kingdom

for such a time as this?”


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