The Feast of Purim
Scripture reading for May 17th: Esther 8-10
When God wants His people to remember something, He usually designs a feast or celebration! God gave Israel “Passover” as a way to remember their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. He gave them “Pentecost or “first-fruits” to celebrate the harvest and giving of His Law. He gave them “Tabernacles” where they lived in booths to commemorate their 40 years in the wilderness before entering the promised land. He gave the church the “Eucharist” (thanksgiving) to celebrate Jesus Christ’s final sacrifice and as a picture of the great wedding banquet to come! Our God likes the idea of His people celebrating!
The Jews had good reason to celebrate! Their enemy, Haman, was hung on the gallows that he built. The king had extended favor to Esther and Mordecai by giving them Haman’s estate. Haman had offered 375 tons of silver, the equivalent of about 120 million dollars, to eliminate the Jews and the king told him to keep his money! (Esther 3:9-11) His estate must have been tremendous. Not only that, but they were now granted the right to defend themselves against their enemies and even eliminate their enemies on the appointed day that Haman had picked by casting the l0t! Their lives were spared and they were able to see their enemies get their due!
The plan was devised by Mordecai after the king granted him authority to write up what the Jews needed in order to counter the first decree which, according to the law of the land, could not be set aside. Before the day came, many people of other nationalities became Jews for fear of them. (Esther 8:17) On the day set by Haman, the tables were turned and the enemies of the Jews were themselves destroyed. (Esther 9:1-2) Five hundred were killed in Suza and another 75,000 were eliminated across the land of Persia by the Jews. Esther asked for another day to eliminate enemies in Suza and the king granted her plea! Thus the feast of Purim (lot) was begun. They celebrated for two days giving gifts and eating choice foods! (Esther 9:20-22)
God is in absolute control of everything! When His people fast, pray and seek to obey, He comes through. Evil toward His people is turned back on the heads of those who would harm His children! Tell someone this good news today! Celebrate the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ!